26 August 2019 - 08:47
FM Zarif leaves for China

TEHRAN, Aug. 26 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, heading a delegation, left Tehran for Chinese capital Beijing, a few hours after he returned from France.

China is the first stop of his Asian tour, which also includes Japan, and Malaysia next. The visits, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi, aim at “following up and implementing the Islamic Republic of Iran's active and balanced diplomacy.”

Bilateral relations and the most important regional and international issues will be discussed in Zarif's meetings with the officials of the three countries, the spokesman had added.

In an article published on Global Times on Sunday, Zarif discussed the significance of having close relations with China, commending "China's continued support for Iran's peaceful nuclear program and effective actions in order to overcome illegal and unilateral sanctions that have hindered Iran from realizing the economic benefits promised in the deal."

"There is a strong consensus among international relations scholars that the twenty-first century will be an Asian century," Zarif said in the piece. "As much of the challenges faced by Iran and China, certain quarters of the West have shown, not every actor in the international community is ready to embrace that future. In these circumstances, the steadfast cooperation between China and Iran, as two countries with a deep commitment to a connected and prosperous Asia, is essential and indispensable."

The Iranian top diplomat has been having a busy schedule these past few days. His departure for China comes right on the heel of his visit to the French city of Biarritz where a meeting of the seven top economic powers of the world, known as G7, took place. The visit came at the official invitation of his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to continue consultations on the recent initiatives proposed by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.

Later on Sunday, Zarif tweeted that he had met with the French president as “Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.”

Zarif met with the French president on Friday after a tour of Scandinavian countries that included Finland, Sweden and Norway.

His talks mainly focused on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in the wake of the US' unilateral withdrawal from the agreement and re-imposition of sanctions, which have created obstacles for Iran's trade transactions with the world. 

MNA/4702068

News Code 149305

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