Iran Foreign Minister to visit Belarus

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was due to arrive in Belarus on Thursday for a two-day visit, officials said Wednesday, the second visit to the isolated ex-Soviet republic this summer by a high-level Iranian official. Mottaki was expected to meet with his Belarusian counterpart, Sergei Martynov, and with the speaker of the lower parliament house, Vladimir Konoplyov, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Popov said. He was not expected to meet with President Alexander Lukashenko, Popov said. The governments of Iran and Belarus are both foes of the United States, and Lukashenko has courted other nations that are severely critical of the administration of US President George W. Bush. Popov said talks during Mottaki's visit would focus on bilateral relations and "key issues on the world agenda."