Zarif Meets Bangladesh, China Leaders

Zarif Meets Bangladesh, China Leaders Zarif Meets Bangladesh, China Leaders

As part of an Asian tour, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met prime ministers of Bangladesh and China.

In the meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Wednesday, Zarif said Iran's energy supplies can be a reliable source for Bangladesh to meet its needs, ISNA reported.  

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready for expanding bilateral relations with Bangladesh," The foreign minister said. "Trade obstacles should be removed."

Pointing to the "brotherly" relationship between Shias and Sunnis in Bangladesh, Zarif stressed that the reason behind division among Muslims in Yemen, Iraq and Syria is not sectarianism, but political issues. Hasina said Bangladesh welcomes promotion of ties in domains such as culture and economy.

The prime minister called for increased exchange of trade delegations between the two countries.

In a separate meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Zarif said the ground is prepared for increased trade between Iran and China.

The top diplomat said, "Cooperation can be developed through the [planned] Silk Road Economic Belt," adding that Iran has the potential to be a "reliable energy partner" for china.

The Chinese initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt which aims to connect Asia to Europe and Africa through a network of roads, railroads, ports and airports, is the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping who has hoped it would annually generate more than $2.5 trillion of international trade in a decade. The Chinese premier hoped for full implementation of the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, noting that all sides should demonstrate commitment to fulfilling obligations under the accord.

"Chinese and Iranian economies complement each other, and the two countries can have good collaboration in various fields," Li added.