Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to pay a farewell visit to three African countries, Nigeria, Ghana and Benin later this month.
Ahmadinejad will leave Tehran for Nigeria on the first leg of his visit on April 15.
In a telephone conversation with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on March 22, Ahmadinejad stressed the importance of expanding bilateral ties and said, “Under the circumstances that the world needs a new order, Iran and Nigeria can play a leading role regarding the issue by bolstering cooperation.”
The Nigerian president, for his part, also lauded ‘the firm and amicable’ relations between Tehran and Abuja, saying both sides enjoy great commonalities which should be used to boost cooperation to an appropriate level.
The Iranian president will visit Ghana on the second leg of his three-day tour, and travel to Benin as the last part of his visit.
The visit comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi formally invited the new Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama to pay an official visit to the Islamic Republic during a visit to Accra on January 8.
For his part, Mahama welcomed Iran’s invitation and promised to visit Iran as soon as possible. He also invited Ahmadinejad to visit Ghana, expressing hope that the two countries would upgrade their cooperation when their business councils meet in mid-2013.