May 8, 2024, 6:53 PM
News ID: 85470621
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Africa has special place in Iran's foreign policy: Diplomat

May 8, 2024, 6:53 PM
News ID: 85470621
Africa has special place in Iran's foreign policy: Diplomat

Tehran, IRNA- Africa has been high on the radar of Iran's foreign policy during the presidency of Ibrahim Rais, after a long period of neglect.

Last summer, President Raisi traveled to Africa after 10 years, visiting Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The Iranian president's Africa tour earned extensive coverage by international media. Less than two months later, the president headed to South Africa to finalize Iran's membership in the BRICS group of emerging economies during a summit in Johannesburg.

In the meantime, the presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been transferred from Saudi Arabia to the West African country of Gambia for a period of three years.

For this purpose, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian traveled to Banjul, the capital of Gambia, to attend the OIC Summit of Heads of State and delivered a speech there.

On the flight to Gambia, an opportunity arose for us to have a conversation with Akbar Khosravinejad, deputy minister and director general of the Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about Iran's foreign policy in Africa.

Khosravinejad, who has recently been appointed as head of the Africa Department, was previously Iran's ambassador to Sierra Leone, and head of the West Africa department at the Foreign Ministry.

The following is an excerpt from the interview:

IRNA- Iran's relations with Africa have always been marked by ups and downs, as some consider the continent not suitable for long-term trade or political relations due to its reputation for being underdeveloped. However, it seems that with the "balanced foreign policy" strategy of the 13th Iranian government, Africa has a special share in the foreign policy portfolio of Iran. What is your assessment about working with Africa?

Khosravinejad- Whether we engage with it or not, Africa is a continent of opportunities. This continent is currently the youngest in the world, and perhaps the only continent where one can benefit and generate income despite the economic challenges that still exist around the world.

Raisi administration has paid special attention to relations with Africa, the official said, noting that “we see working with Africa as win-win”. 

Africa has a special role in supplying Iran’s needs for essential goods and minerals, while Iran exports goods and techno-engineering services to African countries, he stated.  

He highlighted the role of Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in expansion of relations with Africa as he has previously served as deputy foreign minister for Arab-African affairs. 

The economic diplomacy department of the foreign ministry has also attached special attention to Africa and Dr. Safari, the director of this department, has had repeated trips to the continent, the official added. 

Referring to an Iran-Africa Economic Conference two weeks ago, he said that trade exchanges between Iran and Africa is projected to reach $10 billion this year.


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