0331 GMT February 20, 2020
Zarif plans to pay an official visit to Kuwait today in a bid to boost relations between the two countries, local media reports of the Arab country said on Friday.
According to Kuwait’s Arabic-language Al-Qabas, an Arabic daily newspaper, Zarif is slated to visit Kuwait City and hold talks with senior officials of the Arab country on issues of mutual interest.
During his one-day trip, the top diplomat will attend a meeting with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah, according to the report.
Late on Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister will leave Tehran for Helsinki to hold talks with President Sauli Niinistö and Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto on Monday.
Zarif will also meet Finland’s Minister of Development and Trade Ville Skinnari.
The ongoing tensions in the Persian Gulf will be a focus of talks between Zarif and Finland officials, the Finnish Foreign Ministry told Euronews.
Helsinki seeks to know more about Tehran’s ideas to ease tensions in the region during Zarif’s trip, the Foreign Ministry said.
“Tensions in the Persian Gulf have an impact on the entire world. The importance of maintaining a dialogue is emphasized in this situation.”
According to the Finnish ministry, officials will also explain Finland's goals and plans for the EU presidency during Zarif's visit to Helsinki.
Finland took over as president of the EU Council from Romania on July 1.
“Discussion topics in the meetings will include bilateral relations, international and regional issues, human rights issues and Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” the ministry said.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry told Euronews that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, is "very important" as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has previously stated and it must be preserved.
The ministry said the EU does not follow the US policy of sanctions against Iran, as formerly stated in the EU foreign policy agenda.
The US, under President Donald Trump, withdrew from the deal and reinstated sanctions on Iran.
Zarif will later leave Helsinki for Stockholm and Oslo, where he is going to hold talks with top Swedish and Norwegian officials.