Iran and Armenia inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on increasing their cooperation in air transportation. The MoU which is an effort to remove the obstacles standing in the way of air transportation between the two countries was endorsed by Armenia's Deputy Economy Minister Sergei Avetisyan and Director Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization for Legal and International Affairs Mohmmad Saeed Sharafi. The agreement will lift restrictions on the number of flights, capacities and routes, enabling Iran and Armenia to create a favorable atmosphere of free competition for their airlines and promote bilateral relations between the two countries in area of civil aviation. Iran and Armenia have taken major strides toward promoting their bilateral relations in recent years, particularly in the economic sector. According to Iran’s Commercial Attaché in Yerevan Hamaiak Avadis Yanes, the trade turnover between the two neighboring countries hit USD 293 million in 2013. In August, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsian, in a meeting in Tehran, called for the expansion of mutual cooperation in all arenas. During the meeting, the Iranian president said that relations between Iran and Armenia have been friendly based on mutual interests and there is no doubt that the same trend will be continued in future to help enhance the current level of relations and cooperation. "Iran has always called for expansion of relations and cooperation with Armenia thanks to both sides cultural and civilization commonalities," Rouhani added. "Armenia at international conferences has always adopted a very close and friendly stand with Iran, which helps meet both sides' interests," Rouhani said. The Armenian president, for his part, said that Iran and Armenia have kept abreast of developments throughout history and in the past 20 years they developed economic cooperation. "There is no doubt that ties and cooperation between the two countries will be bolstered in line with the expansion of economic cooperation during the tenure of president Rouhani," he said. According to the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), around 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas has been traded with Armenian electricity from 2007 to 2012.