Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman wraps up visit to Africa

April 3, 2022 - 17:57

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, has returned from a tour of West African countries where he met with a number of foreign officials.

Khatibzadeh, who is also the head of the Center for the Public Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, visited Senegal, Ghana and Sierra Leone in the West African region.

During the trip, Khatibzadeh first visited Senegal where he held talks with the country’s high-ranking officials, according to the ministry.

During Khatibzadeh’s meeting with Senegal’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Abdullah Diyop, the two officials referred to the cultural and religious commonalities and underlined the importance of expanding and deepening cultural ties and cooperation. Khatibzadeh also referred to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Senegal. He proposed that the two sides mark a cultural week, which was welcomed by the Senegalese side. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and Senegal’s minister of culture and communications further put forth the exchange of cultural, artistic and media delegations. They discussed ways of implementing such cooperation and reached an agreement over the matter.

Iran says Senegal has an important place in the Muslim world 

In a meeting with Mr. Angom, Senegal’s Minister of State for Diplomatic Affairs, Khatibzadeh extended the congratulatory message of President Ebrahim Raisi to his Senegalese counterpart Mr. Macky Sall on his appointment as the rotating president of the African Union.

In the meeting, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman described Senegal’s place in the Muslim world as important and referred to the country’s effective role in the African Union and in the West African region. In the meeting, the Senegalese side declared the country’s readiness to host the 5th session of the Iran-Senegal joint commission and the two sides agreed on holding the meeting in late May. In a meeting with Mr. Kabeh, the head of Senegal’s parliamentary friendship group, the Iranian and Senegalese sides underlined the need to strengthen parliamentary cooperation and use its capacities to help develop and deepen bilateral relations.

Another part of Khatibzadeh’s visit to Dakar was holding a press conference with the presence of more than 10 radio and television channels of Senegal. At the news conference, Khatibzadeh outlined the goals and programs of his visit to Senegal and took questions from journalists regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy about international developments.

On two other legs of his West Africa tour, the head of the Center for the Public Diplomacy visited Ghana and Sierra Leone.

On the second leg of his regional tour, Khatibzadeh visited Accra, the capital of Ghana, and held talks with the country’s officials.

In a meeting between the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the two sides underlined the importance of deepening cultural ties and the significance of increasing popular relations between the two countries. Khatibzadeh outlined Iran’s medical capabilities and proposed that Iran and Ghana cooperate in the fields of health and tourism, which was welcomed by the Ghanaian side. 

Meanwhile, given that the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is approaching and proper infrastructure and facilities have been envisioned on Iran’s Kish and Qeshm islands and also the similarity between the climate of the islands and that of Qatar, Khatibzadeh proposed that Ghana’s national football team and their fans reside in the Iranian territory. The two sides agreed to be in touch with each other over the matter.

Among other issues, Khatibzadeh and Ghana’s minister for tourism, arts and culture agreed on holding cultural weeks. In the meeting, the issue of exchanges between the cultural, artistic and media delegations of the two countries was discussed. Meanwhile, during the meeting between the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and Ghana’s deputy foreign minister, the latest developments in bilateral ties and cooperation between the two nations were discussed and necessary planning was made for the seventh meeting of the Iran-Ghana joint cooperation commission in Tehran. Khatibzadeh also attended a gathering of the Islamic University professors in Ghana and gave an interview to the Pan African Television of the country.

Sierra Leone says Iran is an important partner

On the last leg of his West Africa tour, Khatibzadeh met with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister David Francis in the town of Freetown. In the meeting, the top diplomat of Sierra Leone described exchanging diplomatic delegations between the two countries as important and effective. David Francis also thanked his Iranian counterpart for inviting him to visit Tehran and expressed hope that the trip will result in expanding and deepening cooperation between the two countries. He underlined that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important partner of Sierra Leone.

The spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry also referred to 60 years of diplomatic relations between Iran and Sierra Leone and underlined the need to maintain expansion of cooperation and exchange of experiences in political, cultural and educational fields. Khatibzadeh stressed the necessity of making an effort to increase bilateral trade and proposed the formation of a joint commission for bilateral cooperation, which was welcomed by the Sierra Leonean side.

In addition, during Khatibzadeh’s meeting with Mr. Mohammad Rahman Savareh, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, cultural and media cooperation between the two countries were discussed. The Sierra Leonean official referred to the role of Iranian institutions in his country’s cultural and educational development programs and called for exchange of experience between the two countries and also for Sierra Leone’s access to Iranian media and art products. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also underscored Iran’s readiness to develop and deepen cultural and media cooperation with Sierra Leone. Khatibzadeh proposed that the two countries hold cultural weeks in Tehran and Freetown, which was welcomed by the Sierra Leonean official.

During his stay in Sierra Leone, Khatibzadeh also visited the Red Crescent healthcare center and the Tehran-Kabul International Studies Center there and gave another television interview.

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