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    TEHERAN, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Terekhov) -- President of Iran Mohammad Khatami regards regional cooperation as the best way of solving industrial development problems.

    "The use of joint potential and cooperation within the region's framework is today the best way of solving the problems of industrial development," says Khatami's statement published on Wednesday. The President of Iran made this statement while addressing the first meeting of ministers of industry of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member-states which is being held in the capital of Iran. (ECO comprises Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.) "With progress in industrial technologies and the use of available know-how in this sphere we can achieve sustainable economic development and ECO has a good potential for achieving these goals," the Iranian President said.

    The experts note that the current session of the industrial ministers of the ECO member-states gives a start to broad consultations at the ministerial level of the ECO member-states at the stage of preparing documents for the forthcoming summit. On Friday the ECO member-states' economic and finance ministers will gather for their conference in Islamabad.

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