Belgrade Keen on Enhanced Ties

Belgrade Keen on Enhanced TiesBelgrade Keen on Enhanced Ties

Serbia’s minister of foreign affairs said the Balkans country is keen to help open a new chapter in political, economic and parliamentary relations with the Islamic Republic.

Ivica Dacic, who arrived in Tehran on Monday on an official visit, made the remark in a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in which the two sides discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues, IRNA reported.  

The Serbian official congratulated Iran on the conclusion of an accord with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program and said his government and people are happy with the breakthrough.  

Dacic put forth a proposal for establishing the 14th Iran-Serbia joint economic commission in the near future, which was welcomed by the Iranian minister.  

Zarif pointed to Iran’s economic potential and hoped relations between the two countries would improve in political, economic, parliamentary, cultural, scientific and academic fields, as well as in energy and agriculture.

Describing as “positive” continued consultations at foreign minister and deputy minister levels with Belgrade, he called for regular exchange of official visits.  

He referred to “long-lasting cultural cooperation” between Tehran and Belgrade and hoped new cultural agreements between the two sides will be signed and implemented.

Zarif pointed to Iran’s progress in human rights and criticized the West for resorting to its outdated policy of making “instrumental use” of rights to exert pressure on independent countries.

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Later in the day, in a meeting with Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, Dacic discussed enhanced parliamentary relations between the two sides with a view to developing wide-ranging cooperation.

Pointing to the Iran-Serbia joint commission, the Serbian diplomat said expansion of ties in economic, industrial and scientific domains as well as developing tourism industry is crucial for his country.

Dacic censured global powers for their interventionist policies in various parts of the world, including their intervention in the Balkans and denounced their efforts to “sow discord” among ethnic and religious groups with the aim of “disintegrating” large countries.  

The Serbian minister also criticized “double standards” by some powers in the fight against terrorism.  

The Iranian speaker said Iran is looking forward to expanding relations with the Balkans, especially Serbia.  

Larijani pointed to the long history of good relations between the two sides and called for increased visits by political figures and parliamentarians to help elevate the level of interactions.

Drawing a comparison between the developments in the Balkans in the early 90s and the current situation in the Middle East, he said in both cases “intervention by outside elements” hampered moves to restore calm.

He deplored the ignorance of the US and its allies in countering the current crises in the region and said the United States’ failure to take effective measures against the so-called Islamic State militant group emboldens them to intensify their crimes undermining the peace and stability of the region.