BRUSSELS (Tasnim) – EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in a joint press conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed the ties between Europe and Iran as “mutually beneficial”, saying that she is preparing a comprehensive visit to Tehran in spring.
Mogherini on Monday expressed her pleasure “to officially welcome Foreign Minister Zarif in Brussels for his official visit to the European Union,” and congratulated the Minister and Iran “for an excellent work (leading to the Iran nuclear agreement) that was done in coordination and cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)” and world powers.
Speaking in the joint press conference held before her meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, she referred to Zarif’s “first official bilateral visit to the European Union”, and described it as “the result of the fact that we were very successful on the negotiations on the nuclear agreement and the implementation day.”
She went on to say that Iran and the EU have been working in February to re-launch the bilateral relations, and her talks with Zarif on Monday night would be focused on the EU-Iran bilateral ties.
“I was glad to visit the Minister and being received by the President Rouhani already in July and, as you might know already, here in the (European) Commission, I have started since some months already the preparation for a comprehensive visit from the Commission to Tehran,” she stated.
“I am not in the position of announcing a date tonight but spring, I would say, is a reasonable time to visit Tehran together with other Vice-Presidents of the Commission and Commissioners to explore all different sectors of cooperation between the European Union and Iran,” Mogherini added.
“We believe this would be mutually beneficial for institutions and for our people. We have strong cultural (and) historical ties. We have strong common interests. We have also some fields that will be probably not of complete agreement but we believe that coordination and cooperation will be essential,” she said.
She further noted that “both on the bilateral level and also in the region, we have been working together in the International Syria Support Group.”
Mogherini suggested that she would confer with Zarif on “the concrete steps that need to be taken to de-escalate the (Syrian) conflict, come to the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access inside Syria as we agreed all together in Munich just a few days ago and the overall regional architecture as we just discussed the other day in Munich at the Security Conference.”
She also pointed to the issue of Afghanistan as one of the fields on which for sure Iran and Europe have a common interest in bringing about stability and security.
Zarif arrived in Brussels on Sunday night at the invitation of Belgian officials.
He said upon his arrival in Brussels that Iran and the EU are going to develop closer cooperation in a range of fields, and that they are on the path to broaden cooperation in different areas of mutual interest.