Improvement of Africa Relations a Priority

Iran and African states have shared goals and values, and can support each other in world bodies
Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe (L) meets President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Aug. 16. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe (L) meets President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Aug. 16.

President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran attaches high importance to relations with African states, stressing the need for developing wide-ranging ties between Iran and Burundi.

Speaking in a meeting with Burundian Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation Alain Aime Nyamitwe in Tehran on Tuesday, Rouhani described relations between the two countries as "friendly and positive".

"Today, there are shared goals and values among Iran and African states and we can support each other in world bodies," quoted him as saying.

Rouhani underscored the need for boosting bilateral ties and closer coordination on the international stage between the two countries, as two member states of the Non-Aligned Movement.

"NAM states should expand bonds of friendship with each other, so they can play [an effective] role on the international scene," he said, adding that NAM countries should help resolve the most serious problems of the international community rising from the spread of terrorism and interference of western countries in many parts of the world.

The president also expressed hope for restoration of calm to Burundi, saying the country's internal problems should be resolved through peaceful solutions and democracy.  

Burundi has faced chaotic events since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans in April 2015 to run for a third term, which he later managed to secure.  

Nyamitwe praised Iran's support for the Burundian nation and its independence, calling for closer bilateral cooperation and wider interaction at the global level.  

"Iran and Burundi have common views on how to strengthen their bilateral cooperation and international coordination," he said.

At the end of the meeting, the Burundian minister submitted a written message of the Burundian president to Rouhani.

Nyamitwe was in Tehran to hold talks with senior Iranian officials. He met Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday and was to meet Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Farhadi and officials of Oil Ministry.

In February 2015, Zarif made a diplomatic tour of four East African countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania, which was described as the beginning of a new chapter in Tehran's ties with African countries.

Iran already has a significant presence in agricultural and economic projects in some African countries and has been a major contributor to humanitarian missions across the continent over the past years.