Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani held separate meetings with new ambassadors of Iraq, India, Myanmar, Malta, Congo and Burkina Faso, during which all sides called for expansion of relations.
During his meeting with new Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Abdul-Rahman Saad Jawad Qandeel, President Rouhani hailed the amicable relations between Tehran and Baghdad, saying that the two countries’ ties can set an example to the whole region, president.ir reported.
Rouhani received credentials of the new Iraqi ambassador just two days before making his first-ever trip to Iraq as the Iranian president.
The president touched upon his upcoming visit to the neighboring country, expressing hope that valuable and significant agreements will be reached during the trip.
Rouhani said Tehran and Baghdad have great potential for the enhancement of mutual cooperation, adding the enthusiasm of both nations contributes to the further promotion of reciprocal ties.
The Iraqi ambassador emphasized that Baghdad is willing to deepen its relations with Tehran in all fields.
“Iran is an important country to Iraq, and we will try to broaden our relations with Tehran,” Qandeel said, IRNA reported.
He also expressed hope that Rouhani's visit to Baghdad will be a valuable step in boosting bilateral ties.
Tehran and Baghdad have shared a unique alliance since the ouster of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Growing ties with India
In his meeting with new Indian envoy, Gaddam Dharmendra, Rouhani said that Chabahar Port, in southeastern Iran, has now become the symbol of growing ties between Tehran and New Delhi.
The president also described continuation of cooperation among all countries of the region in fighting terrorism as imperative and expressed hope that New Delhi and Islamabad always take steps towards peace and friendly relations as two important regional neighbors.
Iran has called on India and Pakistan to put an end to hostilities and resolve their dispute peacefully in a bid to avoid further violence. It came after India launched an airstrike inside Pakistan, claiming it targeted militants behind a Feb. 14 bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed over 40 Indian troops. Pakistan retaliated by downing an Indian fighter jet and capturing a pilot who was later handed back.
The president also expressed Iran’s readiness to cooperate with India in combatting terrorism and creating stability in the region.
The new Indian ambassador in Tehran also said that New Delhi is willing to further deepen ties with Tehran in all fields of mutual interest.
He continued, “The joint projects with Iran have had good progress and using the national currencies of the two countries has facilitated this cooperation”.
India recently took over the running of part of Iran's Chabahar Port, in the Gulf of Oman, as the countries build closer ties.
India has placed $85 million machinery order for Chabahar, which is Iran's southernmost city. The Indian-backed Chabahar port complex is being developed as a transportation corridor for landlocked Afghanistan.
Speaking with the new Ambassador of Myanmar to Iran on Saturday, Rouhani expressed hope that peace and stability return to Myanmar, adding, “We hope that the Rohingya Muslims, who had no choice but to emigrate, can return to their country as fast and as safe as possible”.
“We hope that the efforts of the government in Myanmar can bring stability and security to the country, and we are ready to cooperate in this regard,” Rouhani said.
“Stability and security in a country is possible through cooperation among all ethnic groups in that country,” he said.
The president also referred to the good potentials for development of relations between the two countries, adding, “I hope that we can take advantage of these potentials for the sake of stronger relations”.
“The two countries can cooperate in different fields, such as technical and engineering services, investment, and tourism,” he added.
The new envoy of Myanmar also expressed his country’s willingness in furthering ties “in various fields such as investment, trade, tourism, oil and gas, and agriculture”.
“The government in Myanmar is doing whatever it can for the refugees to return to the country,” he said.
Around 740,000 Muslim Rohingya are living in camps in Bangladesh after they were driven out of Myanmar's northern Rakhine state during a military campaign in 2017 that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.
Europe expected to compensate for US withdrawal
In a separate meeting with the new non-resident Ambassador of Malta to Iran, Rouhani received his letter of credence.
The president stressed that after the violation of the law by the US and its illegal withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Europe is expected to compensate for the US’ withdrawal from the deal.
“In the wake of the nuclear deal, we started a new round of ties with European countries as well as Malta,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani said that there are good potentials for deepening ties in various economic and political fields between the two countries.
He also expressed hope that during the tenure of the new ambassador, “relations further promote”.
The new non-resident Ambassador of Malta to Tehran Paul Mifsud also said relations between the two countries “are long-standing and my government is doing whatever it can to further deepen these ties”.
He also expressed his country’s support of the nuclear deal, saying, “JCPOA is a road map for deepening of bilateral and multilateral relations with the European Union and Malta endorses this agreement”.
Ties with Congo, Burkina Faso
In a meeting with the new Congolese envoy in Tehran, Joseph Okio, Rouhani said his country “is determined to cement trade, economic, political, and cultural relations with Congo”.
“We should take advantage of the existing potentials and opportunities to further develop relations between Tehran and Brazzaville,” he said.
Speaking with the new non-resident Ambassador of Burkina Faso while receiving his letter of credence, Rouhani said, “We are happy that Tehran-Ouagadougou ties are developing”.
The envoy described Iran ties as positive, adding, “All I am trying to do is to further promote relations”.