Zarif discusses Tehran-Beijing ties with Chinese counterpart

August 26, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, on Monday and discussed relations and international developments.

During the meeting, Zarif called for more cooperation between the two countries.

“Iran and China can cooperate in various areas of science, technology, economy and also security,” he said.

Wang for his part attached importance to expansion of relations and cooperation.

He described the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, as important achievement of diplomacy and symbol of multilateralism.

He rejected unilateralism and noted that China is determined to preserve the JCPOA.

Zarif tweeted on Monday that he planned to present a 25-year roadmap to materialize Iran’s partnership and contribute to Belt and Road Initiative.

“After stopping in Tehran from Biarritz to change planes, arrived in Beijing. Important days ahead: Here, I will present a 25-year roadmap to materialize our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, & actively contribute to Belt & Road Initiative. Next: Japan and Malaysia,” he tweeted.

Zarif made a surprise visit to Biarritz, France, where the G7 leaders were meeting on Monday.

The visit came only hours after sources said French President Immanuel Macron had been given mission by his G7 counterparts to engage in talks with Iran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi confirmed Zarif’s trip in a tweet, saying the top Iranian diplomat was going to “continue talks over recent initiatives between the presidents of Iran and France” to save the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA.

In another tweet on Monday, Zarif said, “Iran’s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.”

He added, “Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDrian & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying.”

According to Reuters, Zarif held more than three hours of talks, including with French President Emmanuel Macron, before heading back to Tehran.

“The discussions that were held between the president and Zarif were positive and will continue,” a French official said after the meeting, declining to take detailed questions, according to Reuters.

Zarif was in France on Friday, where he held talks with Macron.

He said his talks with Macron on how to implement the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, were productive.

“France presented some suggestions to Iran on how to implement the JCPOA and the steps that both sides need to take. We also presented some suggestions on how to fully implement the JCPOA,” Zarif stated.

In an interview with France 24 aired on Friday, he said, “We are making progress but we still need to move forward and President Macron still needs to talk to his European partners and others.”

NA

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