S Africa to strike substantive strategic partnership with Iran

TEHRAN, Apr. 24 (MNA) – In a Sun. presser in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma said the two sides will boost cooperation to achieve a substantive strategic partnership.

South African President Jacob Zuma who heads a 180-strong delegation consisting of public and private sectors to Tehran, attended a press conference with President Rouhani, following a bilateral meeting aimed at reaching common objectives and expanding ties into a substantive strategic partnership.

President Zuma hailed the position of the Islamic Republic in the history of South African people's strugglrs, saying "Iran was at the forefront in the fight against apartheid and had announced its solidarity with South Africa from the very beginning."

The South African President maintained, "I am accompanied by a trade delegation which indicates the keen interest of South African businessmen in strengthening economic ties with Iran."

He went on to add, "the ministers who are accompanying me on the visit have reported to me that their negotiations with their Iranian counterparts have had good outcomes."

President Zuma also extended his congratulations to the Iranian government and people for the successful conclusion of Iran's nuclear negotiations with the 5+1 group of countries which resulted in an agreement and the consequent lift of sanctions, adding "once again, speaking on behalf of NAM member countries, I reaffirm Iran's rights to peaceful nuclear energy."

He also announced that he had invited President Rouhani to pay an official visit to South Africa. 

President Rouhani, for his part, said the two sides discussed opportunities for cooperation in the fields of economy, science, politics, as well as regional and international cooperation.

He added that banking relations between Tehran and Pretoria could expand further, while special consideration could also be given to cooperation in industries, mines and energy.

"We also discussed ways to boost tourism cooperation, since both Iran and South Africa have many tourist attractions," Rouhani said, adding "the two countries can actually plan for establishing direct flights to better facilitate tourism cooperation."

Fighting against terrorism and violence was another topic of discussion between the two countries' premiers; "the two countries' political and intelligence cooperation can be really effective in dealing with terror-related problems South Africa is currently facing in the region," said Rouhani.

Rouhani also referred to the current situation in Yemen, Iraq and Syria as having been discussed between the two presidents, saying "Mr. Zuma and I are both of the same opinion that a political solution can be the best approach to resolving conflicts and restoring security and stability to the war-torn countries."

Jacob Zuma heading a 180-strong delegation consisting of public and private sectors arrived in Tehran on Sunday to conduct meetings with Iranian officials on numerous issues including reinvigoration of bilateral regional and international relations.

During his meeting with President Rouhani, the two sides inked 8 MoUs in the fields of oil, investment, agriculture, and culture among others. 






News Code 116060


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