IRAN'S PRESIDENT TO PAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO BELARUS

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MINSK, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will pay an official visit to Belarus on September 9 through 11. He will discuss with the Belarussian leadership the entire range of Belarussian-Iranian relations, as well as pressing international problems, Andrei Savinykh, press secretary of the Belarussian Foreign Ministry, is quoted as saying at the briefing.

The program of this visit envisages meetings with Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky, chairman of the National Assembly's House of Representatives Vadim Popov, president of the National Academy of Sciences Mikhail Myasnikovich. Khatami is expected to deliver the report on the Dialogue of Civilizations in the Academy of Sciences.

The conclusion of an interstate agreement on the fundamentals of relations and principles of cooperation between Iran and Belarus

is planned, as well as a number of intergovernmental agreements on culture, art, sport, tourism, customs, agriculture, security interaction and in the field of overcoming emergency situations.

According to the Belarussian Foreign Ministry, Belarussian-Iranian trade-economic relations are dynamically developing. Trade turnover increased from 89,000 dollars' in 1993 to 21.4 million dollars' worth in 2001. Belarussian exports to Iran prevails over the imports.

Among the staple items of Belarussian export to Iran are - synthetic fiber, potassium fertilizer, integrated electronic circuits, metal products, ball bearings, tractors and trucks.

Iran's main exports to Belarus are foods (tomato paste, spices, fruit and dried fruit), plastics and medicine.

Iran has arranged assembly of MAZ trucks and is thinking of screw-driver production of Belarus tractors, seeking to boost the exports of Belarussian petrochemical products, promoting Belarussian road-building and open-cut mining equipment to the Iranian market.

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