Promotion of Relations With Neighbors a Top Priority

Promotion of Relations With Neighbors a Top Priority
Promotion of Relations With Neighbors a Top Priority

Iran’s top diplomat said promotion of relations with the neighboring countries is the main priority of the country’s political approach, stressing that the new administration is determined to optimize relations with all neighbors.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks while addressing the First National Conference of Iran and Neighbors in Tehran on Monday, IRNA reported.
“Promotion of relations with neighboring countries is a basic priority in Iran’s [diplomatic] initiatives. This priority had not been realized up to now due to various reasons ... [but] increasing cooperation and interaction with neighbors has been one of the basic priorities since the inauguration of the new [Iranian] administration,” the top diplomat said.
With the priority of interaction and dialogue with the neighboring states, he added, the Iranian administration is making efforts to seriously pursue and achieve such a goal by maximizing the existing capacities and optimizing bilateral ties.
He noted that the conference raised the expectation that the great capacities of neighbors should be used to obtain the maximum benefits to achieve sustainable development of the region and settle some of the existing crises.
“The most important task for Iran is to pursue a policy focusing on [promotion of ties with] neighbors without the destabilizing presence of extra-regional countries,” Amir-Abdollahian said, emphasizing that such a policy which seeks to promote security can tackle this challenge in the medium and long run.



Yemen Crisis 

In addition, the Iranian foreign minister cited the Yemeni issue as another challenge for the Islamic Republic, saying, “Currently, there is an issue going on between Yemen and another neighbor. What is happening between Yemen and some of the neighbors as well as those countries that are participating in the military operation against Yemen is a Yemeni business.”
He once again voiced Tehran’s concern about the ongoing war in Yemen and said, “Since the beginning of the Yemeni crisis and the war against the country, Iran has openly presented a four-point political plan and has always supported the realization and pursuit of the plan.”

The top Iranian diplomat called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pursue a political and constructive approach to end the humanitarian siege and war in Yemen and promote intra-Yemeni talks as the continuation of the crisis in the impoverished country would not be beneficial to the region.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.



Saudi Ties 

Amir-Abdollahian also said the door is open to Riyadh to restore ties with Tehran, adding, “Whenever Saudi Arabia decides to restore its diplomatic relations with Iran, we welcome the reopening of embassies, restoration of ties and even expansion of relations with Saudi Arabia.”
He noted that it is up to Riyadh to make a decision about the time of the embassies’ reopening, saying Tehran welcomes a new round of talks.
He, however, emphasized that holding talks for a long period of time would not be the solution to restore relations, describing the “adoption of a political decision” as the “necessity” step in doing so.  
“We, in the new administration, have decided that Saudi Arabia can take the necessary steps to return relations with Iran to normal whenever it comes to a final conclusion.” 
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

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