Jan 13, 2014, 5:40 AM
News Code: 80992047
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FM: Iran pursues broadening, deepening ties with African countries

Tehran, Jan 13, IRNA – The new Iranian government pursues the path of broadening and deepening relations with African countries, including Kenya, Iranian foreign minister said in a meeting with visiting Kenyan Senate speaker.

Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ekwe Ethuro in their Sunday afternoon meeting exchanged viewpoints on ways for further expansion of Tehran-Nairobi relations, as well as the major regional and international developments.

The Iranian top diplomat said that the expansion of relations with the African countries has a high priority in Islamic Republic’s foreign policy today, and the country favors deeper relations Kenya.

He said that in view of the strategic positions and abundant economic, commercial, trade, and tourism potentials of Iran and Kenya in the Middle East and Africa, unfortunately the volume of the two countries’ transactions are still not appropriate with the level of their good political ties, and their existing potentials.

Zarif also said that the two countries’ parliaments play an important supportive role in improving and deepening the bilateral relations.

“Parallel with the country’s proactive parliamentary diplomacy and the visit of a Kenyan parliamentary delegation of Tehran, as the first from the African Continent, we notice both parliaments’ support for expansion of comprehensive relations through exchanging parliamentary delegations, convening of regular sessions of friendship groups, and joint economic commissions,” said Zarif.

He said that the Iranian government favors consultations and cooperation with Kenya in regional and international fields in line with both nations’ and countries’ interests.

Referring to the widespread expansion of the notorious phenomena of terrorism and extremism in various parts of the world, including in the Middle East and some parts of Africa, Zarif said that Iran believes collective campaign of the world counties against their root causes.

He said that based on the Iranian president’s proposal, the UN ratified the World against Violence and Extremism (WAVE), which calls for such a collective cooperation.

Zarif said that the world countries’ strong support for that initiative showed the global confirmation of the need for international alliance against terrorism and extremism.

The Kenyan Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, too, for his part expressed satisfaction over the Kenyan parliamentary delegation’s visit of Iran, hoping that coming to power of new governments in both Tehran and Nairobi could pave the path for exploiting new potentials in both sides at the service of boarder cooperation.

“Parliamentary diplomacy and using the support of the two parliaments’ support can facilitate faster broadening of bilateral relations,” he said.

Senator Ethuro said that Kenya favors expansion of relations in economic, commercial, agricultural, and tourism relations, as well as being benefitted from Iran’s experience in every possible field.

He also referred to the crises in Africa and the ones that Kenya is faced with, arguing that such problems are due to political and security instability in peripheral regions of his country, including Somalia, as well as prevalence of aggressive move, extremism and terrorism.

Ethuro meanwhile reiterated his country’s efforts aimed at restoration of peace and stability in the region, referring to Iran’s precious experience in strengthening regional cooperation and its role in promoting regional stability and security.

He meanwhile asked for effective cooperation among the influential world countries, including Iran, in campaign against terrorism and extremism.

The Kenyan Senate speaker arrived in Tehran at the head of a delegation Saturday night. During his five-day official visit, he is scheduled to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.

He also had a meeting with the Iranian parliament speaker on Sunday morning.