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Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:12PM
Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has conveyed the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s message to Beninese chief executive Thomas Yayi Boni during an official visit. In a Sunday meeting in Cotonou, Salehi extended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s invitation to Boni for a state visit to the Islamic Republic. The top Iranian diplomat pointed to Iran’s presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Benin’s presidency of the African Union (AU), saying that exchange of views between the two countries on various issues can be constructive. Salehi called for closer economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries, expressing readiness for more agriculture, healthcare, science, education and energy ties. For his part, Boni said Benin considers Iran an important partner and wants to cooperate with Tehran on governmental and private sector projects. Boni stated that the membership of the two countries in the Non-Aligned Movement can help boost cooperation on international and regional issues. Salehi is on an African tour which will also take him to Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Egypt. KA/HGH/SS
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