Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Tehran supports any initiative that could lead to the improvement of security and stability in the African continent.
The top Iranian diplomat arrived in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott on Tuesday at the head of a diplomatic delegation.
He held talks on bilateral and international issues with top Mauritanian officials, including his counterpart Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, and the country’s president Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.
Talking to reporters after meeting President Ghazouani on Wednesday, Amir-Abdollahian thanked Nouakchott for efforts in fighting terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa.
“I appreciate the constructive and valuable efforts of the Mauritanian president for following up on an initiative to fight against terrorism and establish sustainable security in Western Sahara,” he said.
“Iran is on the frontline of the fight against terrorism and supports any measure that could contribute to Africa’s security and stability .. and a secure and peaceful world,” noted the minister.
According to a statement by Iran's foreign ministry, Amir-Abdollahian and Ghazouani exchanged views on expanding bilateral relations between Tehran and Nouakchott in different fields particularly technology, culture, economy, and trade.
They also discussed regional and international developments. The need for supporting the Palestinian cause and the expansion of ties between Muslim countries also figured in their discussions.
For his part, the Mauritanian president described ties between the two countries as historic, hailing Iran’s achievements in industrial, scientific, and technological fields.
Referring to Iran’s role in fighting terrorism and emphasizing the country's industrial, scientific, and technological achievements, he stressed the importance of bolstering ties between the two countries.
It came days after Amir-Abdollahian held separate meetings with heads of delegations from seven African countries during the International Congress on Women of Influence in Tehran.
He met and held talks with the minister of industries and trade of Zimbabwe, the ministers of women and family of Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as the governor of the Conakry region of Guinea Conakry, according to the foreign ministry.
He stressed the expansion of bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and African states, pointing to the huge capacity for the development of relations between them.
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is seriously seeking to expand cooperation with Africa, especially in the economic sphere, he stressed in the meetings.
‘Ties with Africa can neutralize sanctions’
A senior lawmaker and a member of the parliament's national security and foreign policy commission believes the expansion of ties with African states could help the country circumvent sanctions imposed by the Western countries.
“Iran’s presence in Africa and expansion of cooperation with these countries can neutralize cruel anti-Iranian sanctions and limitations imposed by Western countries, especially the US, because the White House always tries to provoke Iranophobia,” Ya'qoub Rezazadeh said on Tuesday.
Pointing to African countries’ needs in various fields such as industry and health, the lawmaker said Iranian experts can implement various projects across the continent. He also named the common religion between Iran and many African countries as an important feature for enhancing the level of ties.
Leaving Africa for Latin America
After his day-long visit to Mauritania, Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday departed for Managua, Nicaragua in what will be his maiden visit to Latin America.
He is slated to meet high-ranking Nicaraguan officials before traveling to Caracas as his second destination in Latin America.
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