Friday, September 26, 2008

Iran, Czech to expand ties

The Czech Republic wants to increase its diplomatic relations with Iran by mid 2009 when it will hold the rotating EU presidency.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has announced that it seeks to promote its diplomatic presence in Tehran to the ambassadorial level but said it depends on Iran whether the increase will occur.

Iran's Embassy in Prague welcomed the announcement as a 'positive signal' in bilateral relations. Tehran-Prague relations are at the level of Charge d'Affairs, signifying the bitter diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"Iran-Czech relations are moving towards a more pleasant atmosphere, it is necessary to wait," Majid Nili Ahmadabadi, the Charge d'Affairs and head of the Iranian diplomatic mission in Prague, told Czech News Agency on Wednesday.

He added that a more serious dialogue would benefit the Czech presidency of the European Union. The Czech Republic will hold the EU presidency in 2009.

"We are seeking to have the same diplomatic presence in Iran as other EU countries at the time of our EU presidency already. However, it does not only depend on us how quickly the process will proceed," Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova was quoted as saying.

Last November, Iran lifted restrictions on Czech exports - which had been introduced in 2003 amid a propaganda campaign by Prague-based Radio Free Europe.

Adapted from: Press TV

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