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Zarif, Kazakh president discuss Syria, Afghan peace processes, Iran nuclear deal

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)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev shake hands before their meeting in Nur-Sultan on April 7, 2021. (Via Irna)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have discussed bilateral relations as well as the latest developments surrounding the peace processes in Afghanistan and Syria in addition to Iran’s nuclear deal.

During a meeting with Tokayev in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan, formerly called Astana, on Wednesday, Zarif called Kazakhstan a friendly Caspian Sea littoral state, which shares stances with Iran on major regional and international issues.

We do in fact attach great importance to our relations with Kazakhstan. We view you as one of our closest neighbors and friends in the region,” Zarif noted.

The top Iranian diplomat underlined the need for joint efforts to explore ways to ensure sustainable cooperation and promote bilateral ties.

He also conveyed greetings from President Hassan Rouhani and renewed his invitation to President Tokayev to pay a visit to Iran at his earliest convenience.

The Kazakh president, for his part, underscored the friendly nature of relations between the two countries.

“Iran is one of the key partners of Kazakhstan in the Middle East. We have had an excellent relationship in bad and good times,” he said, reiterating that international developments “did not exercise any influence on our mutual cooperation. We appreciate this fact.”

“Using this opportunity, I would like to convey my best regards to President Rouhani,” Tokayev said.

The two sides also discussed the Afghan peace process, the Astana peace process on Syria as well as activities of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).   

Earlier in the day, Zarif, who is in Kazakhstan on the third leg of a four-nation tour of Central Asia, met with his Kazakh counterpart, Mukhtar Tleuberdi.

He highlighted the many historical and cultural commonalities linking the two nations.

“Excellent talks were held on important regional and international issues, and we thank Kazakhstan for its support of the Islamic Republic of Iran on international fronts,” he said.

The Iranian and Kazakh foreign ministries also signed a 15-article document for cooperation between the two countries aimed at reinforcing friendly, fraternal and neighborly relations based on mutual respect and trust.

Zarif visited Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan before heading to Kazakhstan. He will visit Turkmenistan as the last leg of his tour.

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