Zarif says ties with neighbors are Iran’s first priority

October 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that ties with neighbors are the first priority of Iran’s foreign policy.

“We said at the start of the 12th government that ties with neighbors are super-priority of our foreign policy which we will pursue seriously along with facilitating economic affairs,” he said in a session of parliament.

He noted that Iran’s relationship with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, and Qatar are in their best state over the past 40 years.

He also said that there is “confusion” in Iran-Pakistan relations.

“Our relations with Pakistan and our objectives are clear. The problems that exist come from the special situation in the region and presence and interference of foreign forces,” he said.

He added that there are “very good” and “comprehensive” relations between the two countries.

“Today, borders of Iran and Pakistan are the safest borders for Pakistan. We want them to do something that these borders be the safest for Iran too,” he said.

‘Iran supports peace in Afghanistan’

Zarif also said that Iran supports peace in Afghanistan with the involvement of all Afghan parties.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s position is peace with the involvement of all the Afghan parties, not with foreign military power or involvement of just one Afghan party,” the chief diplomat explained.

‘Syrian Kurds’ rights must be upheld’

Zarif also said that the rights of Syrian Kurds must be upheld.

“Iran announced to the Turkish side that the only way to protect Turkey’s security is deployment of military forces in border areas. Any action against Syria’s border security and sovereignty will bring no fruit for Turkey,” he stated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Saturday to launch a military operation into northeastern Syria to push back militants from the so-called Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from border areas.

Zarif also said, “Iran has announced readiness to cooperate with the Syrian and Turkish governments based on the international regulations. Iran will not let any country in the region use terrorists to gain its own benefits.”

‘Foreign Ministry duty-bound to facilitate economic affairs’

Zarif also said that the Foreign Ministry is duty-bound to facilitate economic affairs and not just attract investors and sign agreements.

“This ministry finds investors and provide them with information and pave the grounds for their cooperation with economic sectors,” he explained.

NA/PA

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