Iran, EU to begin closer coop. in all areas

BRUSSELS, Feb. 15 (MNA) – Iranian FM Zarif who is in Brussels to hold high-level talks with EU officials said Sun. Iran’s relations with EU countries especially Belgium will expand in the near future.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the first hours of his arrival in Brussels told reporters his visit aims at holding meetings with EU officials in areas of common interest.

“High-level talks have commenced among deputy ministers in the EU and will continue at ministerial level with the upcoming visit of Ms. Mogherini to Iran and with various commissions of the Union in attendance,” said Zarif on Sunday night.

“It seems Iran’s relations with EU countries especially Belgium as the host of the Union’s meetings will expand in the near future,” Zarif added.

According to the Iranian top diplomat, ‘considerable progress’ has been made in the implementation of the nuclear deal and there is high hope sanctioned Iranian banks would be reconnected to SWIFT, the global provider of secure financial messaging services, in the next few weeks.

Zarif went on to add that future talks will also focus on the removal of US illegal sanctions against Iran under the provisions of the JCPOA.

“Significant regional issues will also comprise a part of our talks,” he said, “the continuation of Saudi’s brutal and illegal war against Yemeni people which the whole international community wants to end will be one of the topics of discussion.”

“Another topic will be the Syrian issue and the need for a coordinated front to combat ISIL and other extremist groups,” said Zarif, adding “we managed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive ceasefire and cessation of operations by all parties in Munich Security Conference. We also stressed the need for providing all-inclusive relief to Syria, a point which has been raised by Iran in Vienna months ago but the Saudi regime, regrettably, has opposed it.”

The Iranian foreign minister maintained that the Saudi regime is currently under international pressure to abandon its warmongering policies, saying “Saudis must leave aside their delusional policy that a military approach could achieve results. We are certain that they will have no other option but to stop their military aggressions. Pursuing this issue will be on our agenda.”

Zarif then referred to talks among certain countries on sending troops to Syria, saying “it is obvious these are all some propaganda slogan. The capacities and resources of countries are apparent to all and these propaganda bluffs will solve none of their problems. Although, raising such claims will indeed cause further tension and peril in the region.”

“It is imperative that our neighboring countries realize the facts and accept that they will be compelled to yield to the will and demands of the Syrian people. Syrian nation must decide for themselves,” he stressed.

For his first meeting on Monday, FM Zarif will hold talks with Janusz Lewandowski, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Iran. Zarif will meet with Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel on Monday afternoon.

Zarif is also scheduled to deliver a speech at Egmont, Royal Institute for International Relations. He will then hold talks with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Zarif will hold talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as the last meeting on his first day in Brussels.

The Iranian diplomat will continue with his meeting with other European officials on Tuesday.

By Mehr News Agency