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Iranian FM congratulates Steinmeier on election as German president

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R), who was foreign minister at the time, attend a press conference in Berlin, Germany, on June 15, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has congratulated Frank-Walter Steinmeier on his election as the new German president.

“You will always be known as a prominent politician, supporter of peace and global discussion,” said Zarif via a statement released on Sunday  

He also voiced hope that Steinmeier’s appointment would bring Iran and Germany closer together.

Earlier in the day, Steinmeier gained 931 of the 1,260 votes in a German parliamentary assembly to become the nation’s new president.    

The vote came as incumbent Joachim Gauck, now 77, had announced last year that he would not seek a second five-year term because of his age.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) hands over flowers to new German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (2L) after the presidential election at the Bundesversammlung federal assembly Bundestag (lower house of parliament )on February 12, 2017 in Berlin. (Photo by AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also congratulated Steinmeier on his new role, stressing, "I have faith in him to lead our country in these difficult times."

Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered his congratulations, while inviting the new German president to visit Moscow.

“Vladimir Putin confirmed his commitment to the continuation of constructive dialogue on the topical matters on bilateral and international agenda and invited Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit Russia at his convenience," read a statement released by the Kremlin.  

President of the European Council Donald Tusk also penned a letter of congratulation, wishing Steinmeier success in his new role.    

“Your appointment comes at a critical moment for Europe. The many external and internal challenges we are facing could hardly be more severe. In times like these, European unity is more important than ever, and I look forward to Germany's continued contribution to the European project,” read part of the letter. 

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