( IRNA ) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Friday night praised the growing trend of technical and industrial cooperation with Syria.
President Ahmadinejad was speaking at a meeting with the visiting Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Razavi Khorassan province.
"Iranian and Syrian nations enjoy friendly relations and have several common interests. They complement each other.
"Amicable ties between the two states are at their best level.
Iran and Syria today benefit from their bilateral achievements in various fields," he said.
Assessing the session held by the two countries' joint cooperation commission as "successful," he said "the Islamic Republic of Iran is keen to expand cooperation with Syria in all fields particularly in industry, agriculture, science and technology, health and treatment and energy."
The president said that last week's inauguration of the Samand auto manufacturing company in Syria was a good sign of growing ties between the two countries.
"Although Tehran and Damascus currently enjoy the best of political ties, bilateral economic cooperation and trade exchanges unfortunately have not reached the desired level.
"Both sides have great potential to bolster economic cooperation.
If Iranian and Syrian officials seriously follow up implementation of agreements already inked by them, expansion of relations will be facilitated," he added.
Ahmadinejad said the chambers of commerce and commerce and ministries of Iran and Syria play an effective role in strengthening economic cooperation.
He expressed hope implementation of development projects such as a cement factory and an electricity power plant now being undertaken in Syria by Iranian companies can be fast-tracked and can serve be a good example of frendly ties between Islamic states particularly in economic and other fieldsthe .
Referring to the important and influential role of Iran and Syria in regional developments, in the Islamic world in particular, he said: " Iran and Syria have common enemies. Both sides should coordinate and strengthen ties to better respond to the challenges posed by the enemies."
The Syrian premier, for his part, assessed as "fruitful and very successful" the outcome of the 9th session of the Iran-Syria Joint Cooperation Commission and said Tehran and Damascus are working to speed up expansion of bilateral relations.
He expressed his country's willingness to make use of Iran's experiences in various fields and noted that during his visit to Tehran the sides discussed new avenues for bolstering cooperation.
Al-Otari cited other areas of cooperation between the two sides such as the oil refinery project being implemented in his country in cooperation with Iran and Venezuela, the project to export Iranian gas to Syria and bilateral cooperation in the fields of health and treatment, training of Syrian workforce and building of new power plants for electricity generation.
He lauded the courage of President Ahmadinejad in insisting on the country's right to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The prime minister expressed his country's support for Iran's peaceful nuclear program and wished success and victory for the Iranian government and nation.