Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described his recent visit to West Africa as “successful,” Tasnim news agency reported Friday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Zarif said that in his four-nation tour of West Africa, he was “encouraged by huge potential for economic cooperation and commitment to fight extremism.”

Leading an economic and political delegation, he started his six-day tour on Sunday, which took him to Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea and Mali to discuss possible ways of expanding economic and political relations.

On Monday, Zarif said that Iran is prepared to cooperate with Nigeria in confronting Boko Haram in the African country.

“We are willing to cooperate with Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram as well as other terrorist groups who are enemies of Iran and Nigeria,” said Zarif during a meeting with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.

Iran attaches great importance to economic relations with Nigeria and welcomes expansion of multilateral ties in all fields with the African country, he was quoted as saying by Tehran Times.

On Tuesday, Accra and Tehran pledged to enhance cooperation in the health sector, Ghana Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanna Serwaa Tetteh said.

Tetteh said Iran would bring more of its doctors to complement the healthcare system, adding that 10 students would be given scholarships to study in science and other areas in Iran.

Zarif described the visit to Ghana as a multifaceted one which would explore all areas.

The two ministers stressed the importance of international collaboration to combat terrorism and extremism, major threats to international peace and security.

Guinea was the third stop in Zarif’s tour, where he signed 10 documents on economic cooperation with the African country on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Zarif said that Iran is ready to help Mali fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

“We have good ties with Mali as this country is the cradle of Islam in Africa and matters a lot to the people of Iran,” Zarif said in a meeting with Malian Prime Minister Modibo Keita in the capital Bamako.

“Narcotics are another problem both Iran and Mali are suffering from, and Iran is willing to share its experience in this field,” Zarif was quoted as saying by semi-official Mehr news agency.

It was Zarif’s third tour of Africa. In 2015, Zarif paid two visits in which he went to Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Algeria and Tunisia.

In March, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab-African affairs, said that Iran’s strategy for relations with African countries was being updated.

Iran had set a new target for reaching a higher level in boosting trade relations with Africa over the next five years, Amir-Abdollahian said at a meeting with Tehran-based African ambassadors. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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