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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Georgia reassures U.S., EU over ties with Iran

RIA Novosti

18:1424/05/2010 TBILISI, May 24 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's rapprochement with Iran is not directed against other countries and will not affect relations with its strategic partners, specifically the United States, a Georgian deputy foreign minister said on Monday.

Iranian Foreign Ministry official Ramin Mehmanparast, who visited Tbilisi on Saturday, said the two countries have plans for reciprocal visits of high-level delegations and could lift visa requirements.

"None of this means a change in political direction and it does not come into conflict with Georgia's foreign policy, which is aimed at integration with the EU and NATO," Nino Kalandadze said.

"We have strategic partners, such as the United States, and we are in constant dialogue with them, including on this issue. We do not think there will be any problems here," she said.

She confirmed the reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was due to visit Georgia in August, and that a time frame for the Iranian president's visit would then be decided.

On Saturday, Tbilisi and Tehran signed a memorandum of understanding in media cooperation at the level of deputy foreign ministers.

Mehmanparast then told Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze that Iran was ready to play the role of a mediator in the region, in particular in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

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