Zarif Returns From 4-Country European Tour

Zarif Returns From 4-Country European TourZarif Returns From 4-Country European Tour

On the heels of deep, mutual understanding reached over global and bilateral issues, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif concluded his four-country European tour and returned to Tehran on Thursday.

On the last leg of his tour in Latvia, Zarif met the country’s President Raimonds Vejonis in city of Jurmala.

In the meeting, both sides welcomed the expansion of mutual ties, with Zarif emphasizing the facilitation of banking transactions.

Vejonis expressed optimism over development of relations between Iran and Latvia, especially in diplomatic, parliamentary, commercial and tourism domains, IRNA reported.

Later the same day, Zarif met his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkevics, to discuss regional policies, particularly issues of mutual and global interest. They underlined the need for finding solutions to crises in the Mideast and extremism in Europe.

In the meeting with Rinkevics, Zarif, who was leading a 60-strong delegation of mostly businessmen, called for a review of opportunities for joint cooperation in various areas, including economy, banking relations, technology and culture.

He underlined Europe’s role in preventing terrorists in Iraq and Syria from recruiting more foreign forces.

At the end of the discussions, they signed a memorandum of understanding as a framework for diplomatic cooperation.

Zarif also held separate meetings with Speaker of Saeima (Latvian Parliament) Inara Murniece and Latvian Minister of Agriculture Janis Duklavs.

Pointing to the new arrangement of legislature in Iran, Zarif expressed hope about the prospects of parliamentary interactions and exchange of top parliamentary delegations between Iran and Latvia.

Murniece appreciated Iran’s stance of recognizing Latvia’s independence and supported broadening mutual ties in all domains.

Zarif, who flew to Europe at the head of a commercial delegation, met his Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski in Warsaw and addressed the Polish-Iranian Economic Forum on May 30.

On the second leg of the tour, he arrived in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. During his stay in Finland on May 31, he participated in a political conference on Middle East security and a Finnish-Iranian business forum. He also met Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Parliament Speaker Maria Lohela and former president, Martti Ahtisaari.

Zarif left Finland for Sweden and on June 1 met Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. In the meeting, Zarif stressed the need for taking mutual cooperation to a higher level, especially in the political and economic fields.

Lofven welcomed the idea and said he is planning a visit Tehran to help remove obstacles to closer engagement.

The two high-ranking officials also discussed conflicts in West Asia and highlighted the need to find political solutions as the only way of settling problems.

On the same day, Zarif met his Swedish counterpart, Margot Wallstrom, and delivered a speech in a Swedish-Iranian business meeting.