Oct 31, 2013, 8:07 AM
News Code: 80883124
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FM: Iran deems expansion of ties with South Africa as important

Tehran, Oct 31, IRNA –Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif upon his arrival in Pretoria, South Africa, said that Tehran deems special importance to its relations with the African continent.

“South Africa is one of the most important countries of the African continent and one of the main role-players in the non-aligned movement (NAM) and an active and influential country in the international scene,” Zarif said.

“Tehran pays a lot of importance to its relations with Pretoria,” Zarif added.

Zarif arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday to attend the 11th Iran-South Africa Joint Economic Commission.

Iranian and South African experts have held negotiations on three political and social, economic and energy fields since last Tuesday to draft agreements for the foreign ministers meeting.

The Iranian foreign minister and his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, are scheduled to discuss the draft agreements provided by the expert committees and finalize them on Thursday.

Meanwhile, after winding up the Joint Economic Commission, the two foreign ministers are to issue a joint statement and hold a joint press conference.

The 11th Iran-South Africa Joint Economic Commission is being held after several years interval as the previous session was held in Tehran in 2008.

During his stay, Zarif is also expected to meet South African President Jacob Zuma.

The Iranian foreign minister is also due to meet Iranian expatriates residing in South Africa and interview with the country’s news channels.