Ahmadinejad: Iran, Venezuela to expand cooperation.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Saturday that cooperation between Iran and Venezuela has a growing trend.

The chief executive made the remark while attending a joint press conference along with visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after the official welcome ceremony.

"The two countries and nations of Iran and Venezuela are planning to cooperate and reach understanding. During the visit of the Venezuelan president, various areas of collaboration will be studied," he said.

Ahmadinejad said that the two countries have started their petrochemical cooperation, adding that in the field of oil platforms, joint projects are about to start.

"The two countries share common views and approach on regional and international issues, which will be discussed during the current visit," he added.

The president said that joint use of potentials of both states will be to the benefit of both sides as well as that of the two freedom-seeking nations.

Addressing Chavez, he said, "You are at your own house and I am pleased with your visit to Iran."

Saying that today all South American revolutionaries can rely on Chavez, he said that he is very popular among Iranian people on account of his revolutionary approach.

[Source: Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran, 29Jul06]

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