Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the Islamic Republic attaches great significance to the expansion of relations with African countries. Larijani made the remark in a meeting with Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 8th General Assembly Meeting of the Islamic Inter-Parliamentary Union (IIPU). Referring to terrorist attacks in Nigeria, Larijani said the issue of terrorism has become a challenge to the world and all countries need to work to eradicate it. The Nigerian official, for his part, said his country and Mali were grappling with terrorism and expressed regret over the failure of other states to condemn the terrorist attacks in Nigeria. Larijani also held a meeting with Mohamed Djemai, the vice president of the Algerian National Assembly, on Tuesday. During the meeting, Djemai said the Iranian and Algerian people have many commonalities and called for more trade cooperation between the two countries. He also criticized the French war in Mali, saying any foreign interference in the domestic affairs of countries would create problems in the region.
Larijani, for his part, said that domestic issues of countries need to be solved through negotiations and dialog, stressing that foreign interference will not yield results but will create problems in the region.Chaos broke out in Mali after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government's inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months. On January 11, France launched a war under the pretext of halting the advance of the fighters who control the north of Mali. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark have said they would support the French war in Mali. AR/PKH/HJL