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Iran, Venzuela must work to broaden friendly ties: Zarif


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) attends the Iran-Venezuela economic and trade summit in Caracas on August 27, 2016, with his Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez (2nd right), in attendance.

Iran’s foreign minister has underscored Tehran’s determination to preserve its flourishing relations with Venezuela, saying the two nations should further bolster their ties through closer economic cooperation.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks at the Iran-Venezuela economic and trade summit in Caracas on Saturday, with his Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez, in attendance.

“The Iranian government and nation will keep up their strong and good relations with Venezuela as a country of resistance,” which is a legacy of the late president Hugo Chavez.

Zarif further hailed the former Venezuelan leader for adopting “revolutionary” policies in the face of foreign pressure.

Tehran and Caracas “enjoy highly warm and cordial relations, which are rooted in the resilience and pro-independence policies of both nations,” said Zarif, adding that the two sides should pursue “deeper, more strategic and more serious” ties.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with his Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez, in Caracas, August 27, 2016.

Zarif arrived in Venezuela on Saturday on the last leg of his six-nation Latin American tour, which took him to Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile.

The top Iranian diplomat has traveled to the region at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, comprising 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif pointed to the presence of high-ranking Iranian officials from both government and private sectors in the delegation accompanying him, saying this shows Iran’s willingness to enhance bilateral ties with Venezuela in different areas.

He further expressed hope that with the signing of an agreement between the two countries’ central banks would pave the way for enhanced economic ties between the two countries.

In turn, Rodriguez, who is also President Nicolas Maduro’s deputy, said the Iranian delegation’s visit to Caracas shows the Islamic Republic’s strategic relations with Latin American states, particularly Venezuela.

Remembering Chavez as the founder of Tehran-Caracas ties, she noted Maduro is set to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor and preserve good relations with Iran.

“We were seeking to reinforce ties and unity among the two countries,” Rodriguez added. Iran and Venezuela are members of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Non-Aligned Movement and have common viewpoints on the strategic issues, she pointed out.

In an address to Zarif, the top Venezuelan diplomat also said, “Our country is your home and [you] are in your home.”

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