Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has accepted Armenia’s invitation to attend next week’s summit of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in Yerevan, the Armenian government announced on Friday.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s office also confirmed the participation of the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the summit scheduled for October 1. It said the leaders of the five EEU member states will be joined at a separate session by Rouhani as well as Moldova’s President Igor Dodon and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Pashinian announced his decision to invite Rouhani to the summit in early August. He said it was agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the other EEU heads of state.
Iran and the EEU signed a preferential trade agreement in 2018. The deal was strongly backed by Armenia, the only member of the trade bloc that has a land border with the Islamic Republic. The current and former Armenian government said it will boost Armenian-Iranian trade.
Pashinian made clear last year that despite renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran his government will “deepen not only economic but also political relations” with Tehran. He paid an official visit to Iran in February this year.
In a magazine interview published earlier this month, Pashinian insisted that the United States is not pressuring Armenia to curtail Armenian-Iranian ties.