President Serzh Sarkisian will fly to Tehran this weekend to take part in official celebrations of the ancient Nowruz holiday and hold talks with Iran’s leaders, his office announced on Friday.
The official Iranian IRNA news agency said on Thursday that heads of states from Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia will attend the festivities marking the start of the Iranian solar year. Qatar, Oman and Kyrgyzstan will also send high-level representatives, it said.
Sarkisian’s press office confirmed this information. It said he will also hold separate meetings on Sunday with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during “the working visit.” There was no word on the agenda of those talks.
Sarkisian paid an official visit to the Islamic Republic about two years ago. The trip resulted in the signing of Armenian-Iranian agreements on the launch of more multimillion-dollar energy projects between the two neighboring states. Those include the construction of two hydroelectric stations, which is due to start this year.
Like his predecessors, Sarkisian has declared the development of political and economic ties with Iran a top foreign policy priority. Visiting Germany last year, he urged Western powers to respect Iran’s geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus and held up the Armenian-Iranian projects as a model for regional cooperation.
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian likewise stressed Iran’s geopolitical and economic importance for his country when he visited Brussels last week. Speaking in the European Parliament, he expressed concern about a possible toughening of international sanctions against Tehran. He said that could complicate landlocked Armenia’s commercial ties with the outside world that are carried out through Iranian territory.