News ID: 1177
Published: 0739 GMT September 06, 2014

Call for expanding Iran- South Africa ties

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday called for expansion of economic and political relations between Iran and South Africa.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting with the head of South African Parliament's Foreign Policy Commission James Masango in Pretoria, IRNA reported.

He underlined the need to pay due attention to the role businessmen in improving mutual economic ties.

Pointing to the important status of Iranian and South African parliaments, he called for expansion of all-out ties between Tehran and Pretoria.

Masango expressed the hope that mutual cooperation could be fostered in the political, economic and cultural arenas.

Amir-Abdollahian also called the establishment of Iran-South Africa joint trade council an important step to this end.

He voiced pleasure in the 11th meeting of the joint trade council, and described it as an important step towards identifying economic and trade capacities of the two countries.

Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the North-South transit cooperation between Iran, Oman and the Central Asia, and called it a unique opportunity for South Africa to export goods to Central Asia and Russia through Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian is in South Africa to attend a meeting of the Tehran-Pretoria Joint Political Commission.

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.

Iran also has an observer status in the African Union and has actively participated in previous AU summits.

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