Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says Iran plays “a fundamental role in the stability” of the Middle East region, which is struggling with years of extremism and terrorism.
Renzi made the remarks in a Monday joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Rome.
Rouhani arrived in Italy on the first leg of his trip to three European destinations following the implementation of a momentous nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
“I am sure this visit will be a fundamental part of our ability to overcome together the challenge of fighting terrorism, atrocity and evil that we all have to confront together,” the Italian premier noted.
The Iranian president, for his part, said the Islamic Republic has “always been in the front line against terrorism.”
Rouhani noted that the negotiations leading to the nuclear deal can serve as a role model for pursuing peace in the Middle East.
“The question of security for our region can’t be resolved with military solutions,” the Iranian president said, adding, “We need to work through the political channels to find peace and security for our region.”
Rouhani left Tehran early on Monday at the head of a high-ranking delegation, which includes government officials, Iranian entrepreneurs and businessmen.
During his four-day trip, the president will also pay his first visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis.
On Wednesday, Rouhani will travel to Paris, where he is expected to meet with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.