Zarif to deliver speech in Australian parliament today

Canberra, March 15, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is slated to deliver a speech at the Foreign Relations Committee of the Australian Parliament on Tuesday.

Zarif arrived in Australia for a two-day visit on the last leg of his six-nation Asia-Pacific tour.

Zarif, who is the first high-ranking Iranian official visiting Australia in 10 years, is scheduled to hold talks with the country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Michele Ciobo.

He will also meet the shadow minister for foreign affairs and international development and parliament speaker.

The visits are aimed at discussing ways for strengthening political and economic relations.

The Iranian minister will also deliver a speech at the Australian National University and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

He will further attend a meeting with the Iranian elites in Sydney and an interview with state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The top Iranian diplomat will wrap up his visit to Australia on Wednesday and set off for Tehran.

Zarif’s meeting comes as the Australian foreign minister paid an official visit to Tehran in April, 2015 for the first time in some 12 years. She invited her Iranian counterpart to visit Australia.

On the fifth leg of his tour, Zarif paid a two-day visit to New Zealand and held talks with the country’s senior officials including Prime Minister John Phillip Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

The Iranian minister started his six-nation tour on March 6 and has also paid visits to Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.