Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Benin have called for expansion of ties between the two countries.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Thomas Yayi Boni made the remarks at a joint conference held at the airport of capital Cotonou after the Iranian president’s arrival in the West African country on Sunday.
“The two countries are determined to expand their cooperation,” Ahmadinejad said, adding, “Iran and Benin have great potentials in different fields such as economy, culture, tourism, and trade, which could be employed in the interest of the two nations.”
Yayi for his part called for boosting relations between the two countries, saying, “Dr. Ahmadinejad ‘s presence in Benin shows [Iran’s] friendship with Africa.”
Earlier in the day, the Iranian president left capital Tehran to begin a three-day tour of Africa.
Ahmadinejad said he is making the visit upon an invitation by the presidents of the three African countries of Benin, Niger, and Ghana.
This is Ahmadinejad’s last scheduled visit to Africa as Iran’s president as his term in office will come to an end in three months.
The Islamic Republic’s 11th presidential election will be held in June 2013.