Britain Committed to Full Diplomatic Ties

Britain Committed to Full Diplomatic TiesBritain Committed to Full Diplomatic Ties

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif held a meeting with the British foreign secretary on Monday on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

 British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said after the meeting that both sides remain committed to reopening embassies whenever it is possible.  

In November 2011, Britain closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered diplomats at the Iranian embassy in London to leave the country after students angered by Britain's policies on Iran stormed its embassy. The two countries decided to restore their diplomatic relations following the election of President Hassan Rouhani last year.  

Speaking after the meeting, he said, "I met Foreign Minister Zarif in New York today and we discussed bilateral relations and reaffirmed our commitment to reopen our embassies once the necessary practical arrangements can be made," according to the website of the UK Foreign Office.  

The two senior officials also discussed Iran’s nuclear program.

 "I stressed that it remains in all our interests to reach an agreement which addresses international security concerns and begins to rebuild global confidence in Iran as an international partner. I was clear with Foreign Minister Zarif that the UK remains committed to securing a deal, but Iran needs to show more realism and flexibility in order for negotiations to succeed," Hammond said.

  fighting Extremism Needs Cooperation

In a separate meeting, Zarif met his UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on Monday and discussed bilateral relations and the ways to enhance mutual cooperation.

The implementation of the agreements made by the Iran-UAE joint economic committee was stressed in the meeting.

Zarif said, "Expansion of terrorism and extremism pose a real threat to the region", adding cooperation of all Muslim countries is needed to fight the evil phenomenon, IRNA reported.  

The two officials reviewed other issues, including the latest developments in the region, the Islamic State's criminal acts in Iraq, and the potential threat of its spread to other regional countries.

Zarif also stressed the need to take all-inclusive measures to stop the killing of innocent civilians and prevent the battle against sectarianism, extremism, and terrorism from being diverted from its real course.

  Friendly Regional Competitions

In a meeting with Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Iyad Madani on Monday, Zarif said the competitions in the region should be to the benefit of all the regional countries.

"The competitions between the regional countries should turn into friendship and serve their own interests," IRNA quoted him as saying.  

Zarif called on the regional countries to take rational and comprehensive measures to avoid the repetition of the wrong moves in the past on regional issues and warned against expansion of terrorism and extremism.

"The Muslim world should act to stop sectarianism and decide to actively and profoundly fight the evil phenomena of terrorism and extremism," Zarif said, IRNA reported.

  Ukraine Crisis

Zarif also held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin on Monday, in which he expressed hope for restoration of stability in the eastern European crisis-hit country. Zarif said, "We hope the stability will be restored in Ukraine through diplomatic solutions," IRNA reported.

Further in the meeting, the two foreign ministers exchanged opinions regarding the latest developments in Ukraine and bilateral relations.

The ministers discussed the ways to enhance bilateral relations, stressing the need to promptly act to prepare the ground for increased economic cooperation. The foreign minister leading a high-ranking delegation is now in New York for a new round of high-level nuclear negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).

President Hassan Rouhani also left Tehran for New York on Monday to attend the 69th UN General Assembly meeting.