Iran, Ivory Coast presidents discuss cooperation in Gambia

July 2, 2006
TEHRAN -- Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo met with his Iranian counterpart Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Banjul, Gambia on Friday night.

According to the Ivorian daily Fraternité Matin, after his meeting with Gbagbo on the sidelines of the African Union Summit Conference, the Iranian president said that the two discussed the expansion of bilateral, regional, and international cooperation.

At a press conference also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and Vice President Rahim Mashaii, Ahmadinejad added that there are many experiences that the two countries can exchange.

He said his meeting with President Gbagbo was friendly and expressed satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between the two countries.

The Iranian president is in Gambia for a three-day visit upon the formal invitation of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to attend the Seventh African Union Summit as the special guest of the conference.

He will also meet with a number of African heads of state on the sidelines of the conference.

Ahmadinejad addresses Gambian prayers

Addressing a fervent congregation of the Gambians at the Banjul Friday Prayers Mosque on Friday Ahmadinejad stressed that the era of the bullying powers has come to an end, adding that the future belongs to monotheism and justice, Fars News Agency reported.

The president stated that the Iranian nation will always accompany African nations in their path to progress, freedom and independence, saying that the future belongs to faithful, monotheist and justice-seeking individuals.

He stressed that Islam strongly opposes oppression and poverty, and reminded the need for solidarity and unity among the world Muslims. The Iranian president went on to say, "We have enough land and resources to manage our lives and countries. We have as many scientists, experts and knowledgeable people as we may need."

"The big powers have always blocked the path of Muslim unity and solidarity," he underscored.

The Iranian Foreign Minister also on Friday voiced Tehran's preparedness to deepen ties with Madagascar.

Upon arrival in the Gambian capital city of Banjul where he joined President Ahmadinejad, Mottaki met with Madagascar's Foreign Minister and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed the need for the development of bilateral and multilateral ties and expressed their readiness for deepening mutual relations.

At the end of the meeting, Mottaki extended an invitation to Marcel Ranjeva to pay a visit to Iran.