South African FM calls for expansion of ties with Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane underlined his country’s willingness to expand bilateral ties with Iran in all areas.

“During this visit we not only want to expand diplomatic relations, but we are also looking for broadening ties in economic and social areas,” Nkoana-Mashabane said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday.

The South African foreign minister noted that President Jacob Zuma has accepted his Iranian counterpart’s invitation to pay a visit to Iran, and said, “We are looking to hold the 12th Tehran-South Africa Joint Economic Cooperation Commission meeting in Tehran during the upcoming visit of President Zuma to the country.”

She also hoped that the two countries would achieve tangible results in the upcoming joint cooperation commission meeting between the two countries soon.

Nkoana-Mashabane pointed to Iran’s intention to create technological parks in South Africa, and said, “There are existing potentials for scientific exchanges and cooperation between Iran and South Africa and we are waiting for the removal of the sanctions in a bid to expedite trade transactions between the two countries.”

The South African foreign minister pointed to the ongoing talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), and wished success for Iran’s efforts to resolve its standoff with the West.

She pointed to Iran’s supports for South Africa, and said, “It was due to the supports of countries like Iran that we managed to defeat the Apartheid.”

The South African foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Sunday morning to hold talks with high-ranking Iranian officials on expansion of mutual relations as well as regional and global developments.

Iran has striven hard to maximize relations with the African continent.

Iran is also an observing member of the AU and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.

The country is considered as one of the AU’s strategic partners along with India, Japan, China, several South American states and Turkey, while Tehran is also believed to be prioritizing promotion of its economic and political ties with the African states.

By Fars News Agency


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