President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
I am delighted to welcome all of you to Sochi for a trilateral meeting on Syria and the settlement of the Syrian problem. I would like to thank you for accepting the invitation to come here. However, I would like to begin our meeting with expressing our condolences over the loss of life in the recent terrorist attacks in Iran. I would also like to offer our sympathy to the Iranian people and to the victims’ families, to all who were injured in these terrorist attacks.
Today we also have an opportunity to talk about our bilateral relations, and we will certainly use it. I would also like to say how grateful I am to Iran for its contribution to the settlement in Syria. We have been working hard in a coordinated manner, which is the only way to attain our goal.
Not all the problems have been settled. We definitely have enough subjects to discuss in the trilateral format today. As for bilateral relations, I would like to say that our plans are being implemented overall, but we do need to work even more efficiently in this sphere.
I would like to say that between January and November 2018 our bilateral trade increased by 7.5 percent and reached $1.5 billion. It is notable that imports from Iran have grown by over 40 percent. We are working to implement major joint projects in nuclear generation, the oil and gas sector and other fields. We are delighted with this progress. I hope that our meeting today will give a fresh impetus to the further development of our bilateral ties.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani (retranslated): I am very happy to visit you and Russia together with the accompanying delegation. It is my fifth trip to Russia and my sixteenth meeting with you.
Thank you for the words of sympathy you have offered to the people of Iran over the tragic terrorist attacks. They show that we need to work together and to coordinate our efforts in the fight against terrorism more closely than ever.
Happily, relations between Russia and Iran are very good and continue to develop. They are moving towards a strategic level. We hold consultations on various international and regional matters, including Syria. Our cooperation on the settlement in Syria is going forward very well. We are confident of our cooperation in the fight against international terrorism.
Of course, there are also other problems in Syria that should be settled so as to ensure the future of that country and its territorial integrity, which is a matter of great concern to us. I hope that we will take fresh steps towards this goal at our summit.
Thank you very much.