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‘Great steps’ taken to consolidate ties as Iran FM visits South Africa

The top Iranian and South African diplomats have exchanged views on important bilateral and international issues on the sidelines of the 15th Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation.

The meeting took place between Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor in Pretoria on Thursday.

The joint commission is being held after a three-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to the opening of the commission meeting, Amir-Abdollahian said that “great steps have been taken to consolidate relations in various areas” since the establishment of new diplomatic relations between Iran and South Africa.

“We consider the geopolitical position of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of South Africa in the Middle East and Southern Africa as a joint opportunity for both of our countries as we share common views concerning many regional and global issues,” he said.

He touched on a conference with the representatives of BRICS founding members in Tehran this week, saying “fruitful and constructive talks” were held at the diplomatic and academic levels.

“Given the presence of a representative from South Africa in the Tehran conference, we consider it as a positive measure to develop relations with the BRICS member states.”

Amir-Abdollahian hoped that “the Islamic Republic of Iran would obtain the opportunity of accelerated membership in BRICS under the strong support we hope to receive from the government of South Africa and other members”.

He said one of the duties of Iran-South Africa joint commission is to come up with solutions to help establish peace and prosperity for nations in Africa and Asia, adding Iran has high hopes for the outcome and achievements of the meeting in enhancing and cementing bilateral relations.

“I would like to emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully ready to enhance bilateral relations with South Africa without any restriction in all areas of mutual interest such as scientific cooperation and new technologies exchange as well as cultural, tourism, economic, trade, energy and new energy sectors.

“I hope that at the end of this meeting we would be witness to the all-out increase in bilateral relations and pave the way for the official visit of Iran’s President Dr. Raeisi” who is to participated in the BRICS heads of state summit on August 24.

Heath Ledger Prior to the trip, Amir-Abdollahian said he would follow up on bilateral and international issues in his meetings with South African officials.

Iranian FM departs for South Africa with full revival of relations ‘on agenda’

Coinciding with the meetings, a team comprising Iranian deputy ministers and representatives from the private sector, would hold talks with South African Foreign Ministry officials on finalizing matters related to bilateral cooperation and preparing documents for Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s upcoming visit, he added.

Amir-Abdollahian also noted that Raeisi is expected to pay two visits to South Africa, one on August 24 to attend the summit of the friends of BRICS and the other in the fall to discuss bilateral ties.

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