Rouhani, Hammond stress promotion of Tehran-London ties

TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (MNA) – Iranian president and British foreign secretary Hammond stressed on Mon. the need for promoting political relations and developing cooperation based on mutual trust and resolving difficult history.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks here on Monday in a meeting with British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, adding “in current situation, both countries’ officials have a greater responsibility to rebuild bilateral relations based on mutual trust.”

Noting that Iranian people remember and are wary of the foreign interference in their country’s affairs, the president added, “while one cannot quickly change a nation’s deep legacy of distrust in a short span of time, we are of the opinion that we should not linger in the past mistakes and should rather plan our moves with a look toward the future.”

“Iran and Britain must think about mutual interests of both nations as well as the region and expand their trade relations into bilateral and fruitful economic ties based on the available resources in both countries,” said Rouhani.

The Iranian president further added that along with economic cooperation, Tehran and London could promote the level of scientific and academic relations among other cultural projects.

“There are various projects in the fields of energy, roads, air fleet refurbishment, environment and mines in which Iran and Britain can participate,” said Rouhani.

Elsewhere, he touched upon regional and international issues, adding “in today’s world, there are a number of highly significant issues in the region including in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen. Iran and Britain can hold consultations on these issues in order to reach political solutions for them.”

Philip Hammond, for his part, expressed his gratitude toward Iran’s warm hospitality, saying “the two countries’ relations have steadily improved and the recent nuclear agreement will allow more forward steps to deepen the relations.”

Noting that Iran and the 5+1 nuclear deal can rebuild the cultural and historical relations between Iranian and British people, Hammond added “the reopening of embassies in Tehran and London was an important symbolic step that has led to effective and trust-building dialogues between the two countries, providing an opportunity for a better understanding of each other’s positions.”

He stressed the need for resolving the deep distrust and difficult history between the two countries, saying “I assure you that the British government will continue to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear deal.”

While initially the embassy will be headed by a charge d'affaires, Ajay Sharma, Hammond said an agreement on upgrading to full ambassador status is expected to be reached in the coming months.

Hammond's visit and the reopening of the embassy comes weeks after Iran reached a deal with the 5+1 group of countries in the Austrian city of Vienna.


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