Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrapped up his tour of Eastern Europe on Friday, with a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
His Balkans tour was aimed at boosting economic, political and cultural relations with the region.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo, the Iranian top diplomat held separate talks with Bosnian officials.
A meeting between Iranian foreign minister and his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak focused on developments in bilateral ties, including political, economic and cultural ones.
They emphasized that Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina should deepen their ties in various areas. The two sides further stressed that visa requirements for businessmen, entrepreneurs and tourists of the two countries should be further facilitated.
Both diplomats also discussed the issue of security in the Middle East region, describing terrorism as a common threat to the world and called for closer cooperation in the fight against it.
Zarif in Croatia
Zarif’s tour of the Balkans also took him to Serbia, Bulgaria and Croatia.
On Thursday, the Iranian foreign minister met Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in the country’s capital, Zagreb.
Plenkovic stressed that cooperation with Iran, especially in the economic and trade sectors, should be continued and expanded.
He hailed Iran's positive and constructive role in restoring stability to the Middle East, calling for the reinforcement of bilateral ties.
"Iran is making efforts in line with restoring regional stability," Plenkovic said.
Zarif expressed his keenness to develop Tehran-Zagreb relations in all fields, including Halal tourism, energy, agriculture, food industry, advanced technology and banking cooperation.
He further called for boosting Iran's cooperation with Croatia in regional and international organizations both within the bilateral and European Union frameworks.
Additionally on Thursday, Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric expressed her country's and Europe's support for keeping and implementing the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.
The accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is one of the most important and strongest agreements in its kind, which has led to more stability and paved the way for increasing Iran's cooperation with the world, she said.
The Iranian foreign minister's visit to Croatia will broaden political and economic ties between the two countries that already enjoy traditional and strong relations, she said.
Zarif stressed Iran's resolve to boost Tehran-Zagreb ties in all areas.
He also said that his talks with the Croatian top diplomat had focused on the most important regional and international issues, including the JCPOA as well as the fight against violence, terrorism and extremism, the crises in Yemen and Syria, and the current situations in Afghanistan and Balkans.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, Zarif expressed hope that Iran's relations with Croatia would improve more than ever with the removal of some impediments.
In Bulgaria, the country’s President Roumen Radev told the Iran’s foreign minister that his country is interested in deepening partnerships with Iran in trade, energy and scientific cooperation.
The deepening of the partnership with Iran in the economic and energy spheres is of interest to Bulgaria, southeastern Europe and the European Union (EU), and as the president of the EU Council, Bulgaria will work to promote political dialogue to achieve concrete results of mutual interest, Radev told Zarif.
They agreed that the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and Iran’s implementation of its commitments under the deal have created new opportunities for developing the EU’s relations with Tehran as well as the traditionally good ties between Bulgaria and Iran, the statement said, the Sofia Globe reported.
“We are ready for dialogue to improve transport connectivity, energy diversification and increased mutual investment, tourism and scientific exchange,” Radev said.
The development of information technology in Iran and pharmacy with the use of nanotechnology also broadens the scope of potential cooperation with Bulgaria, Zarif said.
Iranian foreign minister also held separate meetings with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.
During his meeting with Bulgarian premier, Zarif said Iran and Bulgaria have the potential to increase their commercial relations up to one billion dollars.
He said Bulgaria's role as the rotating head of the European Union is of great importance for Iran, noting that the country is Iran’s gateway to Europe.
The Iranian top diplomat pointed to oil and natural gas, transit, technical and engineering services as the fields that both countries can further cooperate.
He also called for resolving problems facing transportation and banking relations.
Bulgarian prime minister called for more cooperation in construction, car manufacturing, medicine and transportation.
His first stop was Serbia where Zarif and Serbian officials on Monday underlined that they are ready to boost relations.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Belgrade is ready to promote ties with Tehran in all areas, underlining that Serbia sees no limits in this regard.
They also discussed cooperation in international organizations and regional issues.
During a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, Zarif welcomed a decision passed by the Serbian government in August to lift visa requirements for Iranian nationals and noted that the possible establishment of a direct flight between the two countries would lead to a considerable increase in trade ties.
Zarif added that Tehran and Belgrade can also boost cooperation in the sectors of oil, gas, petrochemistry, mines, communications and agriculture.
The top Iranian diplomat said he carries President Hassan Rouhani's official invitation for his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic to pay a visit to Tehran.
Zarif and Dacic also exchanged views about avenues for increasing cooperation in defense, science and technology as well as culture arenas.