Madrid Sees Tehran as Potential Partner

Madrid Sees Tehran as Potential PartnerMadrid Sees Tehran as Potential Partner

The remarkable similarities between Iran and Spain are a suitable foundation to build a "good" partnership, the Spanish foreign minister said.

"Spain could be a good political and economic partner for Iran because it shares many cultural and historical similarities with the Islamic Republic, is the fourth biggest European economy and the second largest investor in Latin America and wields considerable influence in Africa," Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Monday, Garcia-Margallo said, "This trip helps open a new chapter of relations with Tehran and we are determined to develop bilateral cooperation."

He said the two sides intend to sign a memorandum of understanding for continued political consultations to improve bilateral ties, IRNA reported.

The top Spanish diplomat pointed to the recent migrant crisis fueled by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa which have displaced millions of people who are seeking refuge in other countries, saying, "The crisis has to some extent marred the European Union's image."  

He said the EU should play a greater role in helping address the issue, particularly in relation to Syrian refugees, who were driven out of their homeland by the grave humanitarian situation which has reached catastrophic dimensions in the war-torn Arab country.

  Common Stance on Syria

Zarif said the two sides share a common stance on the Syrian crisis, with both stressing that it should be resolved by peaceful means.

Emphasizing the great potential for the development of Iran-Spain relations, he said, "Today the two countries' other ministers are busy discussing cooperation to develop economic infrastructure."

Zarif stressed the necessity of addressing the migrant crisis, saying, "In today's talks, we discussed the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen."

"Spain, as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, can play an important role in helping solve these crises," he added.