Kuwait Emir, Zarif Discuss Ties, Region

Kuwait Emir, Zarif Discuss Ties, RegionKuwait Emir, Zarif Discuss Ties, Region

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif started a two-day regional tour to Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq on Sunday to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues with leaders of the Arab states.  

On the first leg of the tour, Zarif met Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Kuwait City on Sunday afternoon, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

The emir congratulated Tehran on the recent nuclear deal with major powers and welcomed any effort to help improve cooperation with Iran, especially in the fight against terrorism and extremism.  

Zarif described the establishment of regional peace and stability as Iran's long-sought objective, saying, "Regional states, especially our neighboring countries, are the main priority of the Islamic Republic for expansion of wide-ranging ties."  

Later in the day, Zarif held talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, IRNA reported.

The foreign minister was scheduled to travel to Qatar after the visit to Kuwait to meet Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah.  

On the last leg of the tour, Zarif is planned to visit Iraq today to discuss regional developments and bilateral relations with Iraqi officials.  

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian, accompanying Zarif, said the goal of the visits would be "strengthening ties and developing cooperation is all the fields" with Iran's neighbors.

"The fight against extremism and violence as well as strengthening regional ties are a fundamental necessity to achieve sustainable development and security in the region."

*** Turkmen Ties

Before departing for Kuwait, Zarif met with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov in Tehran on Sunday morning.  

Zarif described the current level of relations with the northeastern neighbor as "very good" and urged enhanced ties with Ashgabat.

He called for bilateral collaboration in the campaign against terrorism and extremism, describing the so-called Islamic State as a serious threat to regional states.  

The Turkmen minister congratulated Iran on the nuclear accord with major powers and said the lifting of sanctions would pave the way for greater collaboration in all areas more than ever before.  

Describing the nuclear deal as a "great diplomatic victory" for the Islamic Republic, Meredov said the Central Asian country has always maintained that Iran has the right to enjoy the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy, like any other country.