Europe’s Engagement Key to Nuclear Settlement

Europe’s Engagement Key to Nuclear Settlement       Europe’s Engagement Key to Nuclear Settlement

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlighted the importance of European countries' "responsible engagement" to help the talks between Iran and the major powers lead to the resolution of the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear work.   

He made the remarks in a meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Lisbon on Wednesday, IRNA reported.   

Zarif also expressed Iran's readiness to take steps to promote bilateral cooperation in such fields as culture, industry, tourism, and transportation.  

The Portuguese prime minister, for his part, said reaching a comprehensive deal over Iran's nuclear issue is of high significance to the European Union and the whole world.

Coelho called for increased cooperation between Iran and Portugal in the campaign against terrorism, adding that Tehran and Lisbon should also try to expand their wide-ranging ties.  

Zarif also met Portuguese Foreign Minister Rui Machete on Wednesday to discuss bilateral ties as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Updating his counterpart on the latest progress made in nuclear talks with world powers, Zarif said, "The Islamic Republic has always been working toward obtaining peaceful nuclear technology without any diversion (in its nuclear activities)."

He also expressed Iran's readiness to improve cooperation with Lisbon in various fields, including energy, tourism, science, and culture, calling for the ties not to be limited to bilateral relations, but to include multilateral and international issues such as fighting extremism and terrorism.

Machete, for his part, described the current conditions as an "exceptional opportunity" for starting new bilateral and multilateral cooperation. He proposed that the two countries collaborate in transportation, among other fields, and called for the launch of direct flights between Tehran and Lisbon.    

Zarif travelled to Spain on Tuesday before taking a trip to Lisbon. The visits were made at the invitations of his Spanish and Portuguese counterparts who had previously travelled to Tehran in pursuit of enhanced bilateral interaction.