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Author Topic:   Iranian president to visit Russia in March-report
Vatandoost
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posted February 09, 2001 09:45     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MOSCOW, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Moderate Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will pay an official visit to Russia in March, Interfax news agency quoted Foreign Ministry sources as saying on Thursday. The United States has been worried by warming ties between Russia and Iran, which Washington views as one of the "rogue nations" against which it needs a new missile defence shield.

The agency said the exact date of the visit, the first by an Iranian head of state, would be announced simultaneously in Moscow and Tehran 10 days before Khatami's arrival.

Interfax said the Iranian president was likely to travel to Moscow after a
planned meeting of five Caspian Sea littoral states in Turkmenistan in
early March.

Both the Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin declined comment on the report.

The diplomats quoted by Interfax said Khatami and Russian President Vladimir Putin would discuss cooperation to ease tensions in hot spots in the area.

Moscow has repeatedly unnerved the United States by pushing for closer economic and military ties with Tehran, which Washington sees as a potential missile menace.

The United States is particularly concerned by Russia's contract to build a nuclear power station in Iran's Gulf port of Bushehr. Moscow says its deals with Tehran are within international legal norms and pose no threat
to third parties.

Putin and Khatami are also scheduled to sign a broad agreement detailing principles of cooperation, Interfax said.

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