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Foreign Policy Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:14 Parliament Speaker Urges Iran, Philippines to Strengthen Friendly Relations

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a meeting with the former Speaker of the Philippines Parliament, Jose de Venecia, called for the further expansion of the relations between Tehran and Manila. "We should use all our capacities to strengthen friendly relations between Iran and the Philippines," Larijani said during the meeting. The Iranian parliament speaker reiterated that Iran and the Philippines should seize the existing opportunities and capacities to increase the volume of their trade exchanges. The former speaker of the Philippines parliament, for his part, pointed to the status quo of Tehran-Manila relations, and said, "The different Asian countries believe that boosting economic ties with Iran, as an important and influential country in Asia, is vital for themt." De Venecia is in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking economic delegation comprising different nationalities. The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. Bilateral relations between the Philippines and Iran started on August 16, 1974. Iran invested $125 million in the Philippines’ petrochemical market in 2008. The value of oil exports from Iran to the Philippines was pegged at $83 million in February 2012. Both countries are eyeing to increase cooperation in areas of tourism, food production and industries, energy, construction, technology, science and culture.

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