News ID: 1148
Published: 0747 GMT September 05, 2014

Deputy FM in S. Africa for joint political commission meeting

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is in South Africa to attend a meeting of the Tehran-Pretoria Joint Political Commission.


Amir-Abdollahian left Tehran for Pretoria on Thursday night to take part in the meeting and to hold talks with South African officials, including Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Press TV reported.

Expansion of relations with African countries in the political, economic and cultural fields is a central plank of Iran's foreign policy.

In February, President Hassan Rouhani said his administration pursues promotion of ties with African countries as a major foreign policy agenda.


Visits to Lebanon, Syria


The Iranian deputy foreign minister will visit Beirut next week for talks with Lebanese officials.

A diplomatic source told Lebanon's As-Safir daily that Amir-Abdollahian is to brief Lebanese officials on his Saudi talks.

The source said the Iranian defense minister had extended an invitation to his Lebanese counterpart Samir Moqbel to visit Iran to discuss Lebanon's needs, particularly in arming the Lebanese Army.

Meanwhile, a well-informed French source told As-Safir that the Saudi grant of arms for Lebanon had been delayed for two months.

The source said the Saudi defense minister and his French counterpart agreed in a meeting on Wednesday to extend the deadline to sign the arms deal for two months before a possible return to talks to conclude the agreement in November.

"Among the objectives of Amir-Abdollahian's visit to Beirut is also Tehran's emphasis on strengthening the internal solidarity in Lebanon, encouraging all the parties there to get involved in dialogue and compromise on participation in presidential and parliamentary elections, and announcing Iran's readiness to assist Lebanon in any field deemed necessary by Beirut, especially in campaign against terrorism," wrote As Safir in its Friday issue.

The 'exceptional visit' by the Iranian deputy foreign minister to Saudi Arabia ten days ago provided an appropriate atmosphere for further regional consultations on significant issues such as the situations in Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, noted the leading Lebanese daily.

Amir-Abdollahian held a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in the western city of Jeddah on last Tuesday.

The deputy foreign minister said he held a 'positive and constructive' meeting with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister.

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