Rouhani hails Iran-China strategic partnership as ‘major step’

October 2, 2020 - 23:56

TEHRAN – In a message to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, President Hassan Rouhani hailed the 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership plan between Tehran and Beijing as a major step towards advancing mutual interests and international peace and stability, as well as countering unilateralism.

“The comprehensive strategic partnership of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China, which stems from common cultural grounds, long-term historical relations and the two countries' view of international developments and their determination to fight unilateralism, has provided a great groundwork for developing bilateral relations in various fields,” said Rouhani in the message, which was sent to President Xi on the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

Rouhani added, “I am confident that the finalization and signing of the 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Plan between the two countries will provide a major step towards the advancement of common interests and towards international peace and stability and the fight against unilateralism.”

The 25-year partnership plan, officially known as the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran, has not been finalized yet. The cabinet of Rouhani approved the draft of the plan on June 21 and tasked Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with negotiating with China over the plan in order to finalize it. Three days later, the foreign minister held talks by phone with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. During the talks, Iran’s chief diplomat expressed hope that 25-year cooperation would be signed soon.

China proposed the partnership during President Xi’s visit to Iran in 2016.

On September 29, Foreign Minister Zarif whished a broader strategic comprehensive partnership between Iran and China, while praising China for bringing Covid-19 under control and reviving its economy.

Rouhani also praised China’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus, saying the disease “provided a ground for China to show its strength in helping the common human destiny, and once again to provide the fruits of empathy and determination of the peoples and governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China to develop cooperation.”

At the end of his message, the Iranian president expressed Iran’s readiness to participate in producing the Covid-19 vaccine.

“As the two countries have been fighting the disease together since its outbreak, I declare my country's readiness to participate in the production of COVID-19 vaccine with China, and I hope that with your Excellency's order, the ground for cooperation will be provided in this field,” Rouhani noted.

SM/PA

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