Greek premier hails Iran’s role in fighting terrorism



Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the role of Iran in fighting terrorism in the Middle East region is highly noteworthy.

The Islamic Republic “can be a stabilizing factor in an unstable region,” Tsipras said during a joint press conference with Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Heading a politico-economic delegation, the Greek premier arrived in the central Iranian city of Isfahan Saturday night on an official visit to the Islamic Republic aimed at strengthening bilateral political and economic relations.

The Greek premier and his accompanying delegation left Isfahan for Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on how to improve mutual relations as well as the latest regional and international developments.

On Monday, Iranian and Greek officials discussed the expansion of cooperation in such sectors as trade, finance, tourism, cultural relations, housing and road construction, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.

The two sides also signed a road-map for the improvement of bilateral cooperation, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for political cooperation, and an agreement on visa exemptions for diplomatic passports.

Elsewhere in the remarks he made during the press conference, Tsipras said both Tehran and Athens can take advantage of the agreements signed, adding that Greece can be a bridge between Iran and Europe.

He also said that Greek businesspeople are currently holding negotiations with their Iranian counterparts.

Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri (5th L) holds talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (3rd R) in the Iranian capital, Tehran, February 8, 2016. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s first vice president, for his part, described the Greek premier’s trip to Iran as a “turning point” in bilateral relations.

“Greece and Iran, with historical backgrounds and age-old civilizations in the West and East are capable of playing a significant role in preventing violence in the world and [establishing] sustainable peace,” Jahangiri said.

He also said that officials from the two sides discussed regional developments and the threat of terrorism and extremism in their meetings.

On his trip to Iran, the Greek prime minister is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias; Minister of Environment and Energy Panagiotis Skourletis; Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism Georgios Stathakis; and Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas as well as a 50-member team of industrialists and businesspeople.

The trip came following the implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started to implement their nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16.

After the JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were terminated. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.

The nuclear agreement had been signed on July 14, 2015, following 23 months of intensive talks.

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