Tehran, La Paz mulling over resumption of energy co-op

June 19, 2021 - 15:30

TEHRAN - Iran's Ambassador to La Paz Morteza Tafreshi has met with Bolivian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Franklin Molina Ortiz, to discuss the resumption of energy cooperation between the two countries, IRNA reported citing Bolivia’s El Deber Newspaper.

As reported, the two sides have agreed in the meeting to strongly pursue the issue and take necessary measures for the resumption of oil and gas cooperation between the two countries.

According to Ortiz, the negotiations will be a follow-up on the agreement reached between Bolivian oilfields company [Yacimientos Petrolferos Fiscales Bolivianos or YPFB] and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) back in 2007.

NIOC and YPFB are also considering the signing of major cooperation agreements in the fields of research and technology in the future, the Bolivian newspaper reported.

Iran and Bolivia have resumed diplomatic relations in late 2020 after more than a year.

Bolivia’s new president, Luis Arce, has made good on his pledge to restore relations with Iran and Venezuela a few days after he assumed office. During a formal ceremony in La Paz in November 2020, President Arce received the credentials of the new ambassadors of Iran and Venezuela, reestablishing diplomatic relations damaged by the previous de-facto government led by interim president Jeanine Anez, according to a statement issued by Bolivia’s government.

The restoration of diplomatic ties between Tehran and La Paz came two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended Arce’s swearing-in ceremony as part of a tour of several Latin American nations that included Venezuela and Cuba.

The chief Iranian diplomat visited Bolivia in early November 2020 and was received by the speaker of the Bolivian parliament. He met with Luis Arce and later participated in his swearing-in ceremony.

Following his victory in Bolivia’s presidential election, Arce vowed to re-establish all relations.

“We are going to re-establish all relations. This government has acted very ideologically, depriving the Bolivian people of access to Cuban medicine, Russian medicine, and advances in China. For a purely ideological issue, it has exposed the population in a way unnecessary and harmful,” Arce said.

EF/MA

Photo: - Iranian Ambassador to La Paz Morteza Tafreshi (R) and Bolivian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Franklin Molina Ortiz

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