Iran is a true friend of Africa: Rafsanjani

February 8, 2007 - 0:0
TEHRAN (MNA) –- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran is a true friend of African nations during a meeting with Senegalese Ambassador E. Mbakeh. Rafsanjani pointed to the great human and mineral resources of Africa, noting, “Western colonialist states have long been looting the wealth and natural resources of the countries of this rich continent and never laid a foundation for its true development and progress.”

Providing assistance for development and the eradication of poverty is one of Iran’s main aims in Africa, and relations with African countries, and Senegal in particular, are high on Iran’s foreign policy agenda, he added. Rafsanjani assessed the process of transfer of technology from Iran to Senegal as satisfactory, saying, “There are many areas for cooperation, and we hope that through the development of relations and sharing Iran’s experiences with Senegal, a foundation will be laid for similar cooperation with other African countries.”

Noting the importance of the two nations’ cultural and religious affinities, he expressed hope that Iran-Senegal relations would expand in the future, given their considerable potential for cooperation as members of the Islamic ummah and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The Senegalese ambassador to Tehran also called for the expansion of Iran-Senegal relations and said that the Senegalese nation and government regard Iran as the initiator of these relations and as a supporter of African states and oppressed countries in particular and hope that ties will continue to expand in the fields of culture, the economy, trade, agriculture, and industry.

Mbakeh described the factory manufacturing Iranian cars in Senegal and the power transmission line constructed by Iran as two of the country’s important projects and expressed hope that the trend of technology transfer from Iran to Senegal would one day be expanded through Senegal transferring such technology to other African countries.