25 October Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran praises Austria's efforts to improve Iran-EU ties


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Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of Austria arrived in Tehran last night. During a two-day visit in Iran. He is scheduled to meet President Khatami and Foreign Minister Kharrazi.

During these meetings they will discuss bilateral issues and, in particular, the war in Afghanistan and developments in the occupied territories of Palestine. Schuessel's visit, which is taking place following similar visits by the foreign ministers of Italy and Germany, demonstrates that European states and the EU are in favour of expanding ties with Iran.

Iran and the EU have close views on many international issues, including the future shape of the government in Afghanistan. The two sides support the idea of setting up a broad-based government which represent the people of Afghanistan. Despite the fact that there are some differences of opinion between >Iran and the EU over the issue of Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East, the European states - and Austria in particular - have recently adopted calling for a solution for the Palestinian problem.

This has intensified the need for cooperation between Iran and the EU to harness the hostilities and clashes in the Middle East. It is, therefore, expected that following the meetings between the chancellor of Austria and our country's authorities, Tehran and Vienna would undertake more serious measures at the international community, that is, in such international organizations as the UN, so as to allay the international crises, particularly in the Middle East.

Chancellor Schuessel's visit will also expand the level of relations between Iran and Austria, because even at the time of the difficulties in the ties between Iran and the EU, Austria insisted that relations with Iran should improve. Moreover, during Austria's presidency of the EU, comprehensive talks began between Iran and the EU. This visit, too, will help to expand political and economic relations between the two countries.

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