Iran seeks to improve ties with France: Zarif

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has underlined the importance of improving Iran’s relations with France on the basis of mutual respect.

Zarif told IRNA upon his approval in Paris on Tuesday that it is necessary for Iran and France to work out mechanisms for improving bilateral ties “based on mutual respect.”

He added that Tehran and Paris have had broad ties in various fields, particularly in cultural, political and economic areas, but mutual relations have been weakened in recent years due to the UN “Security Council’s cruel sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program.”

Zarif pointed to his scheduled meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, saying, “Our talks are aimed at helping to improve the two countries’ relations and also help [to make the preparations for] negotiations with the 5+1 group on Thursday.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — plus Germany plan to hold talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 7-8.

Iran and the six major world powers held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva on October 15-16 and agreed to meet again in the Swiss city.

Zarif further stated that he has been invited to the 37th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the body’s Director General Irina Bokova as a special guest.

He added that he would deliver a speech at the UNESCO General Conference on Wednesday on sustainable development and the role of culture to that effect.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always had serious and special views on culture and its role. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has initiated a proposal for a ‘World Against Violence and Extremism’,” he stated.

The Iranian president offered his proposal when addressing the UN General Assembly’s annual session on September 24, saying there was no violent solution to crises around the world.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in Paris on Tuesday at the head of a high-ranking delegation to attend the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

The 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference opened in Paris on November 5, and will conclude its work on November 20. The session brings together the representatives of all UNESCO member states every two years at the organization’s headquarters in Paris.

Zarif will leave Paris for Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday to participate in the negotiations with the six major world powers.

By Press TV


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