FM: Iran Ready to Help Africa against Violence, Extremism
“There are challenges like violence and extremism in the region and we are ready to cooperate with the African countries to fight against these challenges,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Ghanaian counterpart Hanna Tetteh in Tehran on Tuesday.
Noting that campaign against violence and sectarianism needs coordinated efforts by all countries, he said settling such problems will meet Iran and Saudi Arabia and all other regional states’ interests and Tehran is interested in cooperation with all countries of the region in this regard.
Zarif also described Egypt as an important and influential country in the region and Africa with a rich culture, and said, “We always believe that relations should be developed based on mutual respect.”
Stressing the importance of relations with Africa for Iran, he said that there are abundant potentials for the Iranian companies’ investment in Africa.
Zarif also announced that he will travel to West Africa soon.
Tetteh, for her part, appreciated Iran’s assistance to the African states, specially Ghana, in promoting development plans, and said, “Different projects are being implemented in Ghana with Iran’s support.”
She expressed pleasure in the reinvigoration of relations with Iran in the past, and said, “Today, we are here to enhance ties. We have made good progress in bilateral relations and believe that our ties will further expand in future.”
In recent years, Iran has sought hard to boost ties and cooperation with Africa.
Iran is an observing member of the African Union (AU) and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.
In December, Zarif called for widening cooperation with Africa
“Africa is of paramount importance in Iran’s foreign policy,” Zarif said in a meeting with visiting Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mahboub Maalim in Tehran.