President Rouhani: Iran opens new chapter in European ties
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said upon arrival in the French capital, Paris, on Wednesday that Tehran has opened a new chapter in its relations with Europe.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported that President Rouhani arrived at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to deepen Iran-France relations in line with the interests of the two nations and the states, and this trip is a major step in this regard,” Rouhani said upon arrival.
According to IRNA, Rouhani’s first planned meeting in France will be with a group of French and Iranian businessmen. He is then to meet President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher.
Rouhani is in France upon an official invitation by French President Francois Hollande. The trip is the second and last leg of Rouhani’s four-day tour of Europe, which began on January 25 in Rome, Italy.
The visits to the European capitals have been touted as a major move by Iran to revive its past business ties with European countries. During Rouhani’s stay in Italy, the two countries signed 14 major contracts worth about USD 17 billion. Similar contracts are expected to be signed between Tehran and Paris during the trip.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said earlier on Wednesday that in addition to its economic benefits, Rouhani’s visit to Paris will also facilitate international efforts to tackle crises in the Middle East region.
“This visit, which we hope is successful, will allow us to address the international situation and regional crises where we hope Iran can play a positive role, notably in Syria and Lebanon,” Fabius said in a statement ahead of Rouhani’s arrival.