Iranian FM Zarif arrives in S Africa’s Pretoria

MNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif who is heading a senior delegation of political and economic figures arrived in S African administrative capital city of Pretoria on Sunday.

Upon arriving at the airport of South African capital city of Pretoria, Mohammad Javad Zarif and the senior politics-economy delegation in his company were warmly welcomed by Dr. Anil Sooklal Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East at S African Foreign Ministry (the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)) and Iran’s Ambassador to the country Mohsen Movahhedi Qomi.

The Iranian top diplomat is making the visit upon the invitation of his South African counterpart.

On Monday, South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will meet with Mr. Zarif, on the occasion of the 13th Joint Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The purpose of the 13th Joint Commission is to consolidate and track progress as well as implement the agreements between South Africa and Iran.

Since the last Joint Commission meeting in Iran in May 2015, a number of high-level interactions between the two countries have occurred, the most recent being the State Visit by President Jacob Zuma in April 2016.

South Africa and Iran enjoy close diplomatic relations based on shared values. Relations between the two countries were forged during the struggle against apartheid. In January 1994, diplomatic relations between South Africa and Iran were re-established.

During his stay, Zarif, heading a high ranking politico-economic delegation, will confer with the country’s officials as well as participants of the joint meeting on issues of mutual interests as well as regional and global developments.

South African president and the finance minister are among the officials Mr. Zarif is slated to hold bilateral talks with.

“Considering that a delegation comprised of traders, CEOs of the private sector companies, and managers from state-owned companies, are accompanying Mr. Zarif, a joint trade assembly of the two countries will be held during this visit,” recounted Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesperson of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.

According to Mr. Ghasemi, the assembly will be focused on economy, investment, and trade. He said that the CEOs and managers in Mr. Zarif’s company are from areas like banking, finance and trade, and industry.