Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Oman, Iran sign agreements on strengthening relations

: "Oman, Iran sign agreements on strengthening relations

MUSCAT, June 16 (AFP) - Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Arif on Wednesday concluded a three-day visit to Oman during which the two countries signed a number of agreements on boosting bilateral ties.
'The two sides emphasised the importance of boosting economic, trade and investment relations' and signed a number of agreements, said a joint statement released after Arif's departure.
They also 'emphasised the importance of stability and security in the region, and the need for coordination and cooperation between its states on the basis of international law to create an atmosphere of trust and peace.'
The official news agency ONA said Arif held talks with Oman's Sultan Qaboos with whom he 'reviewed the excellent bilateral relations and ways to boost them.'
'The importance of the visit can't be over emphasised, believing the two countries share the strategic Straits of Hormuz,' a diplomat told AFP, requesting anonymity.
According to Omani officials, the value of bilateral trade between Oman and Iran rose to 208 million Omani rials (543 million dollars) in 2003 from 192 million rials (500 million dollars) the previous year.
Iran remains the sultanate's second most important export partner. Iran has good relations with Oman, unlike its strained ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Tehran and Abu Dhabi are locked in dispute over three Gulf islands occupied by Iran and claimed by the UAE."


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