Sunday Dec 22, 201303:42 PM GMT
Iran’s Zarif, Italy’s Bonino discuss expansion of ties
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) meets with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Tehran, on December 22, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) meets with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Tehran, on December 22, 2013.
Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:41PM
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The Iranian and Italian foreign ministers have met in Tehran to exchange views on ways to enhance Tehran-Rome relations and other issues of mutual interest.

In a Sunday meeting with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed “longstanding” and “strong” ties between Iran and Italy.

The Iranian diplomat further said the Islamic Republic “attaches significance” to its relations with Italy, stressing that the two countries have great room to expand regional and international ties.”

Zarif also pointed to the good history of cooperation between Iranian and Italian companies, expressing Iran’s readiness to bolster bilateral relations with Italy in the energy and railway transport sectors.

Tehran and Rome share close views on many regional and international developments, added the Iranian foreign minister.

Bonino, for her part, described her Saturday meetings with senior Iranian diplomats in Tehran as constructive, emphasizing Tehran and Rome's great potentials to strengthen their ties.

The Italian minister also underlined the significance of cultural cooperation between Iran and Italy, expressing Rome’s readiness to broaden bilateral relations with Tehran.

She also pointed to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Tehran and Rome to help improve the situation in Afghanistan, stressing that following up on this cooperation is important.

Zarif and Bonino signed the MoU during their talks on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September. Under the agreement, Tehran and Rome agreed to fight drug trafficking and cooperate in reconstructing Afghanistan’s devastated infrastructure.

The two ministers also held talks on other regional issues, including the Syrian crisis and the November 24 nuclear deal sealed between Tehran and the Sextet of world powers – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany – in Geneva.

MKA/HGH

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