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Iranian FM arrives in Benin

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has arrived in the Beninese capital Porto-Novo on the last leg of his tour to Africa.

Mottaki was welcomed by Benin’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marie Ehouzou upon his arrival at the airport on Saturday evening (local time), IRNA reported.

The Iranian minister and his delegation are scheduled to meet with Benin’s President Thomas Yayi Boni and a number of other senior officials of the West African country.

Mottaki started his African tour on Thursday in Burkina Faso, where he met President Blaise Compaore in the capital Ouagadougou. Several economic and trade agreements were signed during the Iranian minister’s meetings with the country’s officials.

On the second leg of his African tour, the Iranian foreign minister held talks with Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday.

In the meeting, Mills said that Accra appreciates its political relations with the Islamic Republic, adding that there is still room to upgrade economic ties between the two countries.

Mottaki then flew to the Togolese capital Lome and met with President Faure Gnassingbe Essozimna on Saturday morning.

In the meeting with the Togolese president, Mottaki referred to the cordial political and cultural bonds between Iran and Africa over the past few decades and said the Islamic Republic wants to take effective steps to upgrade the level of economic cooperation with Africa.

Mottaki further pointed out that in the past few years Iran’s ties with Africa have reached a new era and it is determined to build closer collaboration with African nations.

The Iranian foreign minister is also scheduled to pay a visit to Tbilisi on Wednesday following an official invitation by his Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze.

Mottaki will hold meetings with President Mikheil Saakashvili and a number of other Georgian officials during his two-day stay in the country.

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