Economy, Domestic Economy

Zarif Promoting Closer Africa Ties

Zarif Promoting Closer Africa Ties
Zarif Promoting Closer Africa Ties

Expansion of relations between Iran and African countries is beneficial for all parties and is in line with Iran’s policy of strengthening ties with the African continent, Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday upon his arrival at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport.

The minister, on a two-day diplomatic tour to Africa, arrived in Kampala on Monday to hold talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

“The Ugandan president views Iran as Africa’s friend that supported the African people during their fight against Apartheid.”

Addressing a gathering of businessmen and traders in Uganda, the foreign minister called for expansion of political, cultural and economic ties with Africa, saying: “Iran’s relations with African countries is in line with the national interests and prepares the ground for continued and sustained bilateral relations.”

“Regardless of the developments in Iran’s foreign policy and the outcome of ongoing talks with P5+1 member countries (namely the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany), Iran views its relations with Africa as an important strategic option, similar to its relations with neighboring countries,” ILNA quoted  Zarif as saying.

Zarif, heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, started a tour of four East African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania – on Sunday. As his first destination, he visited Kenya on Sunday and held a meeting with the country’s foreign minister.

He is scheduled to visit Burundi and Tanzania after Uganda to hold talks with his counterparts and other top-ranking officials to review issues of mutual interest, as well as regional and international issues.

Iran already has a strong presence in the agricultural and economic projects in some African countries and has been a major contributor to humanitarian missions in the continent over the past years.

Zarif’s trip is a sign of Iran’s willingness to engage in deeper political and economic relations with Africa.