Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Bolivia's president-elect Luis Arce, underlining the need for expanding relations with the South American country.
Zarif arrived in Bolivia on Saturday on the last leg of his three-nation Latin America tour that had already taken him to Venezuela and Cuba.
He was scheduled to attend Arce’s swearing-in ceremony planned on Sunday.
In a post on his Twitter account, the top Iranian diplomat said, “Just arrived in La Paz, to celebrate with Bolivians the fruits of their struggle to restore their democracy. And honored to participate in inauguration of President Arce on Sun.”
“Great to witness the joy people exhibit celebrating their restoration of liberty & democracy,” he added.
Just arrived in La Paz, to celebrate with Bolivians the fruits of their struggle to restore their democracy. And honored to participate in inauguration of President Arce on Sun.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 7, 2020
Great to witness the joy people exhibit celebrating their restoration of liberty & democracy. pic.twitter.com/qPfOHoolUo
Arce, of the left-wing Movement for Socialism party (MAS), won last month's presidential elections following a year-long power vacuum in Bolivia.
He served as economy minister for a dozen years under ex-president Evo Morales, who was forced to resign in November 2019 under pressure from the military and following the opposition's challenging of the victory that he had secured in presidential polls.
Morales, who believes he was the victim of an orchestrated coup, sought exile in Mexico back then and is currently residing in Argentina.
Morales confirmed on Saturday that he will return to his homeland on Monday but said that Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez would accompany him "for security reasons."
In another tweet, Zarif noted that he had exchanged views with Arce and Bolivia’s vice president-elect David Choquehuanca on ways to develop political and economic ties between Tehran and La Paz.
“Just met with President-elect Luis Arce and Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca of Bolivia. Conveyed my country’s congratulations on their victory and wished them and the nation the best,” he said.
“We discussed our brotherly ties—political and economic—and ways to expand them.”
Arce, for his part, thanked Zarif for visiting Bolivia, saying his country intends to enhance relations with the Islamic Republic.