Zarif meets with Bolivia’s new president

November 8, 2020 - 18:26

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Bolivia’s president-elect to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The chief Iranian diplomat arrived in Bolivia on Saturday night and was received by the speaker of the Bolivian parliament. He is expected to attend the inauguration of the country’s new president, Luis Arce.

“Just arrived in La Paz, to celebrate with Bolivians the fruits of their struggle to restore their democracy. And honored to participate in inauguration of President Arce on Sun. Great to witness the joy people exhibit celebrating their restoration of liberty & democracy,” Zarif said in a tweet upon his arrival in the Bolivian capital.

Zarif’s visit to Bolivia was the last leg of his regional tour of Latin American countries that included Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

The top Iranian diplomat congratulated Arce on his election as the new president of Bolivia, underlining the need to boost ties and strengthen cooperation between Iran and Bolivia.

“In the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat congratulated Arce on being elected as Bolivia's new president, saying Iran will firmly stand by the Bolivian government and nation. Arce, in turn, thanked the Iranian foreign minister for attending his swearing-in ceremony, adding his country seeks to boost ties with Iran,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following Zarif’s meeting with Arce.

The Iranian foreign minister also met with the vice president of Bolivia. He said in a tweet that his meeting with the Bolivian leadership was aimed to expand the ties between Tehran and La Paz.

“Just met with President-elect Luis Arce and Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca of Bolivia. Conveyed my country’s congratulations on their victory and wished them and the nation the best. We discussed our brotherly ties—political and economic—and ways to expand them,” tweeted Zarif.

Relations between Iran and Bolivia entered a new phase after Arce, a candidate of former President Evo Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party, secured a landslide victory in Bolivia’s recent presidential election. Iran was quick to welcome the victory of Arce. Iranian officials congratulated the MAS party leadership on its victory, saying they are ready to expand cooperation with the new Bolivian government.

President Hassan Rouhani sent a congratulatory message to Arce in late October, describing the victory of Arce as a move toward returning the power to the people’s representatives.

“In the new era of returning power to the people's representatives, I express support for the Your Excellency’s elected government, and express the readiness of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to revive bilateral relations and expand cooperation with the friendly country of Bolivia in all fields,” the Iranian president said in the message.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also welcomed the election of Arce while expressing readiness to resume cooperation with the Latin American country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran sees a good omen in the restoration of democracy and power to the real representatives of (Bolivian) people after a year of tensions, congratulates the elected president of that country Mr. Luis Arce, and expresses full support for the elected government and readiness to revive cooperation and strengthen friendship bonds with that country (Bolivia),” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on October 20.

SM/PA

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