Tehran says will consider participation at Istanbul summit if dialogue matches its principles 

April 19, 2021 - 21:14
‘We are trying to remove barriers to import vaccine from India’

TEHRAN— The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday set conditions for participating at the Istanbul summit about Afghanistan, saying Iran will attend the meeting provided that the Islamic Republic’s principles are observed.

Talking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “We carefully examine the issues related to this matter. Iran has always stood by the government and people of Afghanistan.” 

He added, “For us, a stable and completely secure Afghanistan is a high priority. As we have said before, we emphasize that the Afghan peace dialogue should be an inter-Afghan dialogue, and Iran has always been prepared as a neighbor to make every effort to achieve this.”

Khatibzadeh referred to the recent telephone conversation between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Afghan counterpart Atmar, saying issues related to the Afghanistan peace negotiations were discussed during the conversation. 

He reiterated that nobody should dictate a plan on Afghanistan. 

On the Iran-Afghanistan comprehensive cooperation plan, Khatibzadeh also said, “More than 99% of this document has been achieved. Talks are still ongoing on some issues.” 

He expressed hope that the “small remaining issues” will be resolved in the near future.

“Ramadan diplomacy”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also said Zarif’s tour to Indonesia is intended to remove trade barriers among other things.

“In the last two years, any trade relations between the two countries have almost doubled, and this trip has been made to pursue bilateral relations, improve relations and remove trade barriers. This trip was already on the agenda,” Khatibzadeh explained.

He also said that “Ramadan diplomacy” will continue by Zarif during the holy month which falls between April 14 to May 12. 

last year was the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and Indonesia. 

Zarif praises Indonesia’s “valuable support” at UN

In a tweet on Monday, Zarif expressed joy over his visit to Jakarta, saying the talks focused on boosting ties and making close coordination on regional and international issues.

Zarif also thanked Indonesia for its “valuable support” in the UN Security Council when former U.S. President Donald Trump sought to “undermine international law” by pushing for ratification of a resolution against Iran.

“Two parallel documents”

On the visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Tehran on April 13, Khatibzadeh said, “We are completing two parallel documents. What is known as the cooperation program between the two countries is renewed every five years. In April of this year, its term expired, but according to the contents of the document, it has been automatically renewed and is a valid document between the two countries. We are working on an upgraded document. Good agreements have been reached to follow up on this document.”

During Lavrov's visit to Tehran, the document to expand cultural cooperation between the two countries was also approved.

Foreign Ministry attaches importance to Pakistan FM’s visit to Tehran

Khatibzadeh also described visit by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Tehran as “important”, saying Tehran-Islamabad relations are vast and deep. 

The chief Pakistani diplomat has started a tour of regional countries with a focus on the Afghan peace talks.

He also discussed opening a third border terminal between Iran and Pakistan.

“During this visit, in addition to discussing bilateral issues, the two countries will open a third border terminal between the two countries,” Khatibzadeh explained. 

“Efforts to facilitate purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine”

Asked about efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate a purchase of COVID-19 vaccine, he said, “Regarding the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry has taken the issue very seriously since day one. It has written letters, done various follow-ups at different levels.”

He mentioned India as an example and said, “We have held intensive negotiations with India and part of the vaccine was imported from India, but due to some issues, including the widespread spread of the coronavirus in India, this process was interfered with the judicial order of this country. We have consulted with India in this regard and the Indian side has stated that it is removing obstacles to fulfill its obligations.”

"Efforts to release prisoners in Kurdistan region"

Regarding the visit by the Iraqi National Security Advisor to Tehran on April 12, Khatibzadeh said that the during the visit, high-priority issues were discussed. He declared that Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, was his Iraqi counterpart’s host. 

On the visit of Iran’s Judiciary chief to Iraq in the last Iranian calendar year, the Foreign Ministry official said Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to Iraq last year was a successful one, and one of the achievements of that trip was the release and transfer of a number of Iranian prisoners in Iraq.

The spokesman continued, "We also have prisoners in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and we are trying to transfer these people to Iran within the framework of these talks and the visit of the head of the Judiciary to Iraq."

Raeisi visited Iraq on February 8, holding important talks with high-rank Iraqi officials, including PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and President Barham Salih. 


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