Tehran, Beijing Discuss "Strategic Relations"

Tehran, Beijing  Discuss  "Strategic Relations"
Tehran, Beijing  Discuss  "Strategic Relations"

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conferred with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing late Friday.

The meeting was held after the Fourth Ministerial Conference of Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in the Chinese capital.

In the meeting with the Chinese foreign minister, Zarif described the conference as “successful” and said expansion of cooperation with China in bilateral, regional, and international issues is a foreign policy decision of the Rouhani administration, IRNA reported.

Referring to the common stance of the two sides vis-à-vis major regional and international developments, he said, “Tehran is trying (to build) strategic relations with Beijing.”

Zarif hailed the positive role of China in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany). “There is a strong political resolve in Iran to reach an agreement and Tehran is very serious to find a solution (in the talks).”

Wang thanked Zarif and his entourage for attending the conference and said it is indicative of the importance Tehran attaches to China’s efforts to promote regional cooperation on rebuilding war-ravaged Afghanistan. He described Iran’s role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan as “significant” and reiterated that Iran will definitely play a part in finding solutions to the Afghan dilemma. The Chinese official referred to the wide-ranging and growing relations with Iran and called Tehran-Beijing ties “strategic”.

He added, “Meetings between President Hassan Rouhani and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has led to consolidated and strong interaction between the two countries.”

  Countering Extremism

In a separate development, the foreign minister warned against the rising threat of extremism across frontiers and urged a united effort to eliminate it.

“The sphere of extremism is expanding across the world, and to get rid of that, certain countries should change their views about this scourge,” Zarif told reporters in Beijing, PressTV reported.

He noted that the threat of extremism is not restricted to a specific region and underlined the need for a collective will to counter the worsening scourge.

Elsewhere, Zarif pointed to the achievements of the conference on Afghanistan and noted that in the final statement the delegates stressed the need for reconstruction of Afghanistan, exploring alternative development methods to replace drug cultivation, fighting terrorism and drug lords.

Zarif arrived in Beijing on Thursday to attend the conference and left for Tehran early on Saturday. The meeting was held with the participation of 21 foreign ministers and other senior delegates from 46 countries.

According to IRNA, Zarif addressed the meeting and met President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi, his Pakistani, Turkmen and Turkish counterparts and several other officials.

Referring to his meeting with the Afghan leader, he said in the meeting grounds for joint cooperation with the national unity government in Kabul and the role of Iran in helping establish stability in the neighboring country were discussed. He also elaborated on his meetings with Turkish, Turkmen, and Pakistani officials during which expansion of bilateral ties and other issues of mutual interest and concern were reviewed.

The Conference of Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was first launched in 2011 to help promote coordination between Afghanistan and other regional countries to counter common threats, including terrorism and extremism.