Zarif says Iran willing to help Mali against terror, drug

TEHRAN, Jul. 29 (MNA) – Meeting the PM of Mali, the fourth country in Zarif’s latest tour of African countries, Iranian foreign minister voiced the willingness of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help Mali against terrorism and drug trafficking.

“We have good ties with Mali as this country is the cradle of Islam in Africa and matters a lot to the people of Iran,” said Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Thursday, in his meeting with Malian Prime Minister, Modibo Keita, in Bamako; the fourth stop on Zarif’s tour of West Africa.

Lamenting the presence of terrorist and extremist groups in the West African country, the Iranian foreign minister voiced the readiness of Tehran to help Bamako in war with terrorism and extremism. “Mali has always been home to moderate Islam and it is a pity that now extremists are in this country,” Zarif articulated.

The senior Iranian diplomat reckoned that extremism is now the common problem of the Islamic world and regretted that the heinous phenomenon is taking different names in different countries and now is gripping the whole Middle East.

“Narcotics are another problem both Iran and Mali are suffering from and Iran is willing to share its experience in this field,” said the top diplomat of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Malian PM.

Having referred to cultural commonalities of both countries, Zarif moved on to economic cooperation between Iran and Mali and said that the delegation accompanying him were ready to join Malians in areas of agriculture, health, education, energy, technology, finance and banking.

The Malian prime minister in this meeting for his part praised what Iran did in terms of its peaceful nuclear program and highlighted that “Iran proved that all problems can be overcome with bravery and attempt.”  

“The Image of Iran we have now is a nation and a country of significance. A country which proved underdevelopment and undergrowth had no way to it,” said the Malian prime minister.

He hailed the leadership of Iranian officials for moving the Islamic Republic forward and securing the national interests at the time that all doors looked to be closed to them. He underlined that Iran could be a role model for all developing countries.

“We have to endeavor to deepen the bilateral ties more than ever as Iran and Mali are both willing to get closer to each other,” reiterated Modibo Keita.

Since Sunday, Iranian foreign minister has been visiting African countries of the western side of the continent, with Nigeria as the first destination and Mali the last stop on the route.

YNG/IRN82167813

News Code 118476

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