Zarif returns home after quadruple West Africa tour

TEHRAN, Jul. 29 (MNA) – Having met the high-ranking officials of 4 western African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, at the head of a 38 member economic delegation, Iranian FM Zarif returned to Tehran on Friday.

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, arrived in Tehran on Friday after his six-day visit to four countries of West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali.

The Iranian foreign minister, who headed a 38 member delegation of Iranian traders, businessmen, and economy activists, left Tehran on Sunday for the Nigerian capital city of Abuja, in the first leg of his tour to West Africa.

In a meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja on Monday, the chief Iranian diplomat restated the Islamic Republic’s support for Nigeria in its campaign against al-Qaeda and Boko Haram terrorist groups.

During his stay in Nigerian capital city of Abuja, the top Iranian diplomat met and exchanged viewpoints on various issues of mutual interest with senior Nigerian officials like Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

Ali Fallah Zaroumi, a member of the delegation accompanying Zarif, told the Iranian media that the foreign minister also voiced the deep concern of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the health condition of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the Nigerian religious leader who has been detained since December 13, 2015.

Fallah Zaroumi quoted FM Zarif demanding Nigerian officials to free the religious leader as Zarif described Zakzaky a person inviting Muslims to unity.

On the second leg of his four-nation African tour, Zarif arrived in the Ghanaian capital city of Accra on Tuesday and met with Ghanaian officials like Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, President John Dramani Mahama, and Foreign Minister, Hanna Tetteh.

In Accra, at a convention titled “Iran-Ghana Trade and Economy Cooperation,” Zarif underlined that Iran and Ghana are two developing countries contributive to south-south cooperation.

On Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister arrived in Guinea’s capital of Conakry and there he met with country's President Alpha Condé, Prime Minister Mamady Youla, National Assembly Speaker Claude Kory Kondiano, and Foreign Minister Makale Traore.

On the last leg of his tour, a day later on Thursday, the Iranian chief diplomat arrived in Bamako of Mali and met with Malian officials like Prime Minister, Modibo Keita, and President of Mali’s National Assembly, Issaka Sidibé.

This is the third tour of Zarif to Africa as previously, in February 2015, the Iranian foreign minister visited four East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania.

Later in August 2015, the Iranian foreign minister also made a visit to North African countries of Tunisia and Algeria.

YNG/IRN82168104

News Code 118481

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