Iranian, Vatican foreign ministers confer over phone

Tehran, Nov 15, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conferred latest international developments with Vatican Foreign Affairs Minister Paul Richard Gallagher in a telephone conversation on Sunday.

The two officials stressed the importance of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Vatican in a more suitable time.

President Rouhani was to start a European tour on Saturday as the first visit of an Iranian leader to Europe in a decade. The visit was to take place as bilateral ties thaw after Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

On Saturday, the President was to visit Italy as his first destination where he was to hold separate meetings with the Italian officials as well as the Pope.

The Iranian President was also to visit France on November 17 to attend a UNESCO meeting and meet with the French officials.

After the shocking terrorist attacks in France on Friday which claimed at least 129 lives and injured 352 across Paris, President Rouhani decided to postpone his European tour.

The terrorist group of Daesh (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks on a Paris concert hall, restaurants, and outside France’s national stadium – calling it retribution for French air strikes in Syria.

Speaking in a TV program on Saturday morning, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that President Rouhani’s trip to three European countries including Italy, Vatican and France has been postponed.

‘It is better now to focus on fighting terrorism and President Rouhani’s trip to Europe will happen in near future,’ Zarif said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry in a statement sympathized with the bereaved families of victims and the French people and government on the sad occasion.