Need to Bolster Belgian Relations

Need to Bolster Belgian RelationsNeed to Bolster Belgian Relations

A parliamentary official underscored the considerable potential for promoting ties with Belgium, saying it has yet to be fully exploited.

“The current level of Tehran-Brussels interaction is not in proportion to their longstanding relations and further steps are needed to expand cooperation in various domains,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi was also quoted as saying by ISNA.

He made the statement in his meeting with chairman of the Belgian Federal Parliament’s foreign affairs and international relations committee, Dirk Van der Maelen, in Tehran on Monday.

Boroujerdi stressed that Iran welcomes a boost in bilateral trade, especially through establishing joint ventures.

Describing the West’s approach to regional issues, including human rights, as “selective” and “politically tainted”, the lawmaker said, “The West accuses the Islamic Republic of Iran of human rights violation while its allies are bombing civilian areas and massacring defenseless civilian Yemenis on a daily basis.”

A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out a military campaign in Yemen since March 2015 with the aim of preventing Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh from taking control of the country. The UN has said more than 6,000 people, half of them civilians, have been killed since the start of the Saudi-led military intervention whose ultimate aim is to restore fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.

Boroujerdi, who heads the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, criticized the western states’ policy of advancing their interests in the Middle East by helping spread terrorism.

“The West’s policy of backing terrorist groups in the region for political gains is a dangerous game to the detriment of the whole international community,” he said.

“Terrorism poses a grave threat to all countries, including Europeans.”

On the Syria civil war, Boroujerdi reasserted the Islamic Republic’s stance that the five-year crisis could only be addressed through inclusive dialogue between Syrian groups.

Van der Maelen echoed Boroujerdi’s call for improved bilateral cooperation.

“We need to engage in more frequent contacts,” he said.

The Belgian lawmaker also met with other top Iranian officials a day earlier, namely Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on foreign affairs.


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