LatAm Relations of Immense Importance

LatAm Relations of Immense ImportanceLatAm Relations of Immense Importance

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran attaches high significance to its relations with Latin American countries, including Nicaragua.

Zarif made the statement in a press conference with his Nicaraguan counterpart, Samuel Santos Lopez, after their meeting in the Nicaraguan capital Managua on Tuesday.

Nicaragua was the second leg of a six-country, six-day tour, which Zarif and his large politico-economic delegation embarked on Sunday.

"We attach special importance to relations with Latin America and Nicaragua, so today, along with a large delegation, we explored the possibility of expanding economic cooperation in various fields," IRNA quoted him as saying.

Zarif said the strong presence of high-ranking Nicaraguan officials in the meetings indicates their strong will for developing Iran ties.

"I'm sure today's visit, besides strengthening interaction between the two countries in political fields, will help enhance economic and trade ties," he said.

"Our cooperation can involve many spheres, from the construction of the Grand Interoceanic Canal to agriculture, electricity generation, petrochemicals, banking, finance, transport, food, drug, science and technology."

The top diplomat hoped that the two sides' private sector representatives and government executives would reach agreement for cooperating on various projects. The Grand Interoceanic Canal is a 270-kilometer-long canal, which is expected to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by 2030.

Santos welcomed the Iranian delegation, saying Nicaragua has long been waiting for this trip, which can greatly help strengthen bonds of friendship between Iranians and Latin Americans.   

The Nicaraguan foreign minister said the large delegation, which includes 120 businessmen, economic officials and diplomats, shows that Iran is serious in taking its Latin America ties to a higher level. "I'm sure that with the efforts of the Iranian delegation and constructive meetings, we will see expansion of Iran's relations with all Latin American states," he said.

  Bright Prospect   

Later on Tuesday, Zarif met Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to discuss bilateral relations and the latest international developments.

Zarif said negotiations between the Iranian delegation and Nicaraguan sides have been "very good" and the prospect for mutual cooperation is bright.  "Today, as Iran is in better conditions than when it was under international sanctions, we like to continue to stand by you," he said.

Sanctions on Iran were lifted under its July 2015 nuclear pact with six international powers.

Ortega said Managua is keen to expand its "friendly and brotherly" relations with Tehran. During his stay in Nicaragua, Zarif also met with Rene Nunez Tellez, the head of Nicaragua's Parliament.

The Iranian delegation first arrived in Cuba on Sunday, and on Monday, he met senior Cuban officials, including Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Economy Minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel and President Raul Castro.

Ecuador was the next destination of the Iranian delegation, where they arrived on Tuesday to discuss promotion of political and economic collaboration with senior officials of the South American country. The trip will later take Zarif to Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela.

The Iranian minister will wrap up his visit to Latin America on Saturday.