27 February 2018 - 21:17
FM Zarif leaves Belgrade for Sofia

TEHRAN, Feb. 27 (MNA) – Iranian FM Zarif, who met with Serbian president, PM, FM, parliament speaker, and tourism minister during his two day stay in Belgrade, left Serbia for Bulgaria on Tuesday evening.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who met with Serbian president, prime minister, foreign minister, parliament speaker, and tourism minister during his two day stay in Serbian capital city of Belgrade, the first stop in his tour of Balkan countries, left Serbia for Bulgarian capital city of Sofia on Tuesday evening.

The Iranian top diplomat who left Tehran before noon on Monday for Belgrade, the first stop of his Balkans region and Eastern European tour, arrived in Serbia in the afternoon and immediately held a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dačić.

During the meeting the two sides discussed the ways of expanding bilateral relations in all fields.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Serbian official, who is also the deputy prime minister of the country, welcomed his Iranian counterpart and expressed Belgrade’s readiness to expand ties with Tehran in all areas.

“I’m glad to hear that a delegation of Iranian businessmen, who can expand the economic and commercial relations of the two countries, are accompanying you,” said Dačić.

FM Zarif in turn expressed his pleasure with being in Serbia, adding that the Islamic Republic intends to expand mutual ties in all political, economic, cultural, and parliamentary spheres.

Zarif also said that, on behalf of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, he will invite the Serbian President to travel to Tehran.

The Iranian foreign minister further welcomed the idea of abolishing visa regime for the two countries’ citizens stressing that if a direct flight is launched between the two countries, business ties and relations among the people of Iran and Serbia will increase dramatically.

Zarif also referred to the fields of oil, gas, petrochemicals, mines, communications, agriculture and other infrastructures as suitable grounds for cooperation between the two states.

Cooperation in defense, science, technology as well as cultural, artistic and academic collaborations were among other areas discussed by the two officials.

The Iranian diplomat further thanked the Serbian government for its support to Iran at international organizations, highlighting the Islamic Republic’s emphasis on holding dialogs and respect for international rights as the only way to resolve regional and international conflicts.

Exchange of views on regional and international developments were on the agenda as well. 

The two top diplomats then attended a luncheon organized in honor of the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran following behind-the-doors negotiations.

Later on Monday Mr. Zarif met with the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. During the meeting, Iranian foreign minister handed out the official invitation of President Hassan Rouhani to Mr. Vučić.

On Tuesday, on the second day of his visit to Belgrade, Mr. Zarif took part in a business forum in Belgrade to assess fields for cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.

Also on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign minister held a bilateral meeting with Anna Bronabić, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, to exchange views on various aspects of bilateral relations.

The issue of Kosovo, cooperation between the two countries in the international community, strengthening economic and cultural relations, as well as preparations for expanding parliamentary, military, scientific, cultural, academic exchanges, agriculture, and advanced technologies were among the key issues for the talks.

The two sides also consulted on some international and regional issues.

Also in Belgrade, Mr. Zarif met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia Rasim Ljajić.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed the various dimensions of trade and economic relations between the two countries, as well as barriers to the expansion of the relations between them and ways to remove them.

Energy sector, banking co-operation, consular cooperation, and tourism were among the issues discussed during the meeting between Zarif and Ljajić.

At another event, addressing the Iranians residing in Serbian capital city of Belgrade, Iran’s foreign minister said that US and Europe consider Iran as an influential country in the region, adding that people are behind Iran’s strength.

Mohammad Javad Zarif added “we all owe Iran’s people. It was the people who made the Islamic Republic of Iran so powerful.”

Developing bilateral relations in all areas was the main issue discussed by Mr. Zarif and Maja Gojkovic, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The two met on Tuesday in Belgrade.

During the meeting, Ms. Gyukovich welcomed the development of relations between Iran and Serbia, and voiced the determination of the Serbian parliament for this cause.

Mr. Zarif, who is heading a senior delegation comprised of a number of CEOs of Iranian enterprises from both private and public sectors, will accompany the Iranian businessmen at joint forums and meetings to discuss ways for expanding economic cooperation.

YNG/ 4239042

News Code 132481

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