Iran, China Forge Strategic Partnership

Iran, China Forge Strategic Partnership
Iran, China Forge Strategic Partnership

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei received Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tehran on Saturday.

The strong determination to boost bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest, including the campaign against extremism and terrorism, topped the meeting’s agenda.

The Leader said the agreement by the two sides to chart a course for developing a long-term strategic partnership was a “right” and “wise” decision.

In high-level talks co-chaired by President Hassan Rouhani and Xi earlier in the day, the two sides agreed to forge a strategic partnership.        

At the end of the talks, Iran and China released a joint statement outlining the main elements of this strategic partnership.

The statement, formally titled “Strategic comprehensive partnership between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People’s Republic of China,” comprises 20 articles and outlines a roadmap for Tehran-Beijing cooperation in various areas, including economy, security, defense and culture, ISNA reported.

Agreements on the revival of the ancient Silk Road trade route and cooperation in the field of nuclear energy were also among the 17 accords signed by the two countries.

In a joint press conference with Rouhani, Xi called Iran “an important partner” and said promotion of bilateral ties will benefit both governments and nations.

“Bilateral ties have experienced a remarkable development, mutual political confidence and cultural trade and cooperation have been promoted and China has for years maintained its position as Iran’s foremost trade partner and largest crude customer,” Xi said.

Rouhani told reporters that the Chinese president’s visit marks the beginning of an important chapter in relations between Tehran and Beijing.

  Trade Target

Referring to negotiations with the Chinese delegation, Rouhani said, “Today we discussed the two countries’ strategic ties and drew up a 25-year cooperation document to raise the level of bilateral trade to $600 billion in the next 10 years.”

The president noted that the meetings also covered discussions on expanding financial and banking cooperation, long-term contracts in the energy sector and investment in projects to develop railroads, ports and tourism.

“The two sides also consulted on how to effectively confront the threat from regional and international terrorism,” Rouhani said.

“We explored ways of restoring stability and security to the Middle East, as well as helping weather terrorism-induced conflicts in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Xi was the first Chinese president to visit Iran in 14 years. During his Middle East tour that began on Jan. 19, he visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt before arriving in Iran.