Tehran, Pretoria keen to expand mutual cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and senior South African officials underlined the need for the further expansion of mutual cooperation.

Amir Abdollahian in separate meetings with South African deputy foreign minister, deputy health minister and deputy agriculture minister explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral ties.

The Iranian and South African deputy foreign ministers discussed political and international issues in their first round of their talks in Pretoria.

During his meeting with the South African deputy health minister, Amir Abdollahian pointed to the good and friendly relations between Iran and South Africa over the past 20 years, and underlined that the health sector is one of the most important areas for the two states’ cooperation.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister referred to the role of the nuclear technology in the development of the health sector, and expressed the hope that Iran would share its peaceful nuclear achievements with other countries after reaching a final agreement with the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany).

During the meeting, Amir Abdollahian urged the South African foreign ministry to help facilitate the export of Iran’s medicine and medical equipment to South Africa.

Elsewhere in a meeting with South African agriculture minister, the Iranian deputy foreign minister discussed different topics, including export of agricultural machineries, joint investment and setting up joint Iran-South Africa Agriculture Commission.

On Saturday, Amir Abdollahian underlined the necessity for the further expansion of all-out relations between Tehran and Pretoria, and called establishment of Iran-South Africa joint trade council an important step to this end.

“We hope that stronger steps will be taken for the comprehensive development of the relations between the two countries,” Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with Chairman of South African parliament’s Foreign Policy Commission James Masango in Pretoria.

He also voiced pleasure in holding the 11th meeting of the two countries’ joint trade council, and described it as an important step towards identification of Iran and South Africa’s economic and trade capacities.

Amir Abdollahian pointed to the North-South transit cooperation between Iran, Oman and the Central Asia, and called it a unique opportunity for South Africa to export goods to the Central Asia and Russia through Iran.

Masango, for his part, expressed the hope that further cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments would lead to the consolidation of relations in other political, economic and cultural fields.

Iran has striven hard to maximize relations with the African continent. The country is also an observing member of the African Union 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.

Speaking in a meeting with visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in South Africa in March, South African President Jacob Zuma urged Tehran and Pretoria to promote economic relations and increase mutual cooperation between the two countries.

By Fars News Agency


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