Zarif visits Samarkand to confer with top Uzbek officials

November 11, The Iran Project – On the second leg of his tour in central Asian countries, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Thursday (Nov 9) afternoon to attend International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia and hold separate meeting with top Uzbek officials.

While in Samarkand, Iranian foreign minister met Uzbekistan Presdient Shavkat Mirziyoyev, his counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov, Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and finally delivered a speech in the international conference for security and sustainable development.

Zarif and Mirziyoyev discussed the numerous ways for expanding bilateral ties, especially in the fields of politics and science.

Cooperation in the fields of energy, transit, the quadrilateral corridor, establishing the Iran-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan trilateral group for railway transportation and fighting terrorism were among other issues discussed.

The two parties also welcomed setting up a joint economic commission in the December of the current year.

Also, Zarif and his Uzbek counterpart reviewed developing bilateral and regional cooperation.

During the meeting both sides held talks on opening a new chapter in Iran-Uzbekistan ties, removing customs barriers, establishing cooperation in banking, trade, transit, scientific, technology fields and also in trilateral cooperation in railway transportation field.

Iranian and Uzbek FMs agreed on drawing a road map to develop relations especially in economic fields.

The importance of maintaining cooperation in fighting extremist groups was among the topics discussed by the foreign ministers of Iran and Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, Iran foreign minister and the EU top diplomat discussed issues of mutual interests on the sidelines of the International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia.

The two sides also discussed the latest regional and international developments.

Mogherini said the European Union will make sure Iran nuclear deal will continue to be fully implemented by all in all its parts, underlining the need to preserve Iran deal as ‘a major achievement of European and international multilateral diplomacy.

Touching upon the shared security interests of the European Union and Central Asia, Mogherini referred to Iran nuclear deal as the first security interest the two regions share.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the conference in Samarkand, Iranian Foreign Minister said the European Union must more actively support and take practical measures on the implementation of the landmark nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago.

The foreign minister said he told Mogherini that Iran has been living up to its commitments under the nuclear deal but the new US administration has failed to fulfill its obligations, stressing, “This situation must be rectified by European countries.”

Besides in an address to the International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia on Friday, Zarif stated that Iran has practically proved its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation by signing a nuclear deal with six world powers and remaining fully committed to the terms of the landmark pact.