1 Nov 2017 18:57

Putin meets with Rouhani, Khamenei in Tehran

TEHRAN. Nov 1 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Tehran to meet with the leaders of Iran and Azerbaijan.

After arriving, Putin traveled to Saadabad Palace, where he was met by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Before the narrow-format meeting, Putin thanked his counterpart for organizing the meeting, saying it provides an opportunity to have a discussion in the top-level bilateral Russian-Iranian negotiating format and in the trilateral format, with the participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"We are very happy that, besides our bilateral relations, our two countries also play an important role in ensuring peace and stability in the region," Rouhani said before the meeting.

After the meeting with Rouhani, Putin also met and spoke to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei.

The last time Putin and Rouhani met was seven months ago, when Rouhani visited Moscow in late March. In the course of those talks, the parties reached several important agreements: in the trade-economic sphere, on interaction on the global energy market, on the prompt signing of a free-trade zone agreement between Iran and the EAEU, and on further dialogue on Syria and cooperation on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which concerns the Iranian nuclear program.

Top-level Russian-Iranian talks will continue with the delegations of the two countries.

A trilateral Russia-Iran-Azerbaijan presidential summit was scheduled for the afternoon. The three leaders planned to issue a joint statement following the meeting.

Putin is expected to meet with Aliyev at the conclusion of his working visit.

Putin last visited Iran in November 2015. The trilateral format last convened in Baku in fall 2016.

The agreement to hold this summit was reached in a phone conversation between Putin and Rouhani in late May, when Putin called to congratulate his Iranian counterpart on being re-elected