Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 9
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the country's government is willing to establish new relations with the European Union, Iran's Fars News Agency reported on Mar. 9.
Rouhani made the remarks during his meeting with the visiting European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"Iranian government is determined to establish good relations with the whole world based on mutual respect and interests," he added.
Iranian president went on to note that Ashton's visit to Tehran as the representative of 28 European countries has a very important political meaning.
"Beside the nuclear talks, Iran and the EU there are several other areas that the two sides can discuss, he said, adding that Tehran and EU can boost their ties especially in the energy and transit sectors.
Ashton, for her part, said that this is the first time that she is negotiating with Iranian officials about some issues other than Iran's nuclear program.
"This can be a beginning for expanding bilateral trades between Iran and the EU," she said.
"My visit to Tehran proves that the EU is willing to establish active relations with Iran," she noted.
Ashton also met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the country's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Sunday.
EU's foreign policy chief arrived in Tehran on Saturday for an official visit.
Iran's nuclear energy program as well as relations with the European Union will be at the heart of the talks.