Common Challenges Call for Closer Cooperation

Common Challenges Call for Closer Cooperation
Common Challenges Call for Closer Cooperation

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the common challenges facing Iran and Uganda necessitate closer cooperation between the two countries.

After a meeting in Kampala on Tuesday, the foreign minister and Uganda's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Henry Ocelot Orem attended a joint press conference, in which Zarif touched on the great challenges facing the two states and said, "Extremism and violence are considered major challenges which require us to get closer to establish a coalition on the basis of our values, principles and interests," ISNA reported.

The senior diplomat said Iran attaches great importance to Africa, particularly Uganda, adding, "Our common values, interests and challenges have brought us here."

He continued, "The thirst for independence and the anti-arrogance campaign are our common values and among our shared interests are bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the economic sphere," expressing hope that greater cooperation would be developed between the two countries' public and private sectors.

Referring to the active participation of Iran and Uganda at international gatherings, Zarif said, "Both countries back each other in international organizations."

Touching on the talks between Iran and the major powers on Tehran's nuclear program, the foreign minister said, "We made a historic deal last year which paved the way for working toward a comprehensive agreement," adding, "We pursue two objectives in the talks: The first is to prove that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and the second is to secure the lifting of all sanctions. We are able to hammer out a comprehensive agreement just if we can achieve these two goals."

The Ugandan official said, "We are hopeful that the nuclear dispute will be peacefully resolved by the two sides, and Uganda recognizes Iran's right to enjoy peaceful nuclear energy."

  Friend of Africa

Upon arrival in Kampala, the foreign minister conferred with Uganda's President Yoder Museveni on late Monday, ISNA reported.

Zarif pointed to the high importance Iran attaches to expansion of relations with Africa as one of its strategic policies.  

He continued, "Relations between the two countries are growing and we are keen to open a new chapter in bilateral relations."

The diplomat referred to the business delegation accompanying him and expressed hope that the two sides would show serious resolve to strengthen mutual ties to serve as a model for other African states.

The official said, "Terrorism, violence and extremism are the most critical challenges all over the world, including in the Middle East, Africa and Europe," adding, "The current situation necessitates strengthening serious and realistic bilateral cooperation to address such an evil phenomenon."

The Ugandan president, for his part, expressed interest for increased economic and political cooperation.

He also pointed to Iran's advancements in various areas and acknowledged the country's capabilities in science and technology.

He described Iran as a major state with good intentions and a friend of African states.

Museveni added, "The constructive and positive role of Iran in helping promote peace in the region is undeniable and we hope the talks on Iran's nuclear issue will produce positive results for the country."