Helsinki Backs Closer Iran-EU Relations

Helsinki Backs Closer Iran-EU RelationsHelsinki Backs Closer Iran-EU Relations

Finland's Undersecretary of State at the Foreign Ministry Peter Stenlund voiced hope for expansion of ties between Iran and the European Union, stressing that Iran's 2015 nuclear pact with major powers, which led to the lifting of sanctions against the country, should be honored as an international achievement.

"JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known] is a multilateral agreement and all sides to it should honor and fulfill their commitments," Stenlund said on Friday in a meeting with visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi, IRNA reported. The senior official highlighted European authorities' interest in upholding the landmark accord and said, "Helsinki is in favor of bolstering interactions between Iran and the European Union."

He pointed to last year's visit by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto to Iran, which resulted in signing several memorandums of understanding and paved the way for broadening wide-ranging relations.

During his trip to Iran last October, Niinisto met a number of senior officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, to discuss diplomatic and economic opportunities. The talks led to promotion of ties in many spheres, including energy efficiency, bio-economy, forestry, mining, construction and health.

Stenlund underlined mutual visits by the two sides' delegations since Niinisto's trip and said an agreement has been signed on customs relations and an air transportation deal is to be finalized in the near future. Takht-Ravanchi reflected the Islamic Republic's positive stance toward increasing bilateral cooperation.

"We attach high importance to parliamentary and people-people relations, which can help develop collaborations, especially economic ties, and we hope to exchange more delegations to hold consultations in political, parliamentary and economic domains," he said. The two sides also discussed ongoing crises in the Middle East, especially the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, and exchanged views on the need to find a solution to the global menace of terrorism.

The Iranian envoy, who has traveled to Finland at the invitation of Stenlund, with the aim of holding political, regional and international negotiations, was scheduled to meet economic, trade, banking and financial authorities of the European country during his stay.


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