Iran, France FMs meet in Beijing

April 7, 2023 - 23:21

TEHRAN – The top diplomats of Iran and France who have simultaneously travelled to China held a meeting in Beijing in which they discussed various issues.

In the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna exchanged views on bilateral relations, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

They also discussed some consular issues. 

The foreign ministers of Iran and France reiterated the need for mutual respect and the continuation of dialogue. 

This is the first high-level meeting between Iran and France after the recent wake of unrest that engulfed Iran in the autumn of 2022. During the unrest, Iranian-French relations deteriorated rapidly due to France’s support for the unrest. 

The Iranian foreign minister had travelled to Beijing for an important meeting with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan. Amir Abdollahian and bin Farhan met in the Chinese capital in line with a Chinese-brokered deal that was signed on March 10. 

Under this deal, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore their relations in a period of two months.

According to the joint statement put out by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, “The three countries announce that an agreement has been reached between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, that includes an agreement to resume diplomatic relations between them and re-open their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months, and the agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs of states.”

The statement added, “They also agreed that the ministers of foreign affairs of both countries shall meet to implement this, arrange for the return of their ambassadors, and discuss means of enhancing bilateral relations.”

During their meeting, the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia laid emphasis on an official resumption of bilateral ties, exchanging views on steps toward the reopening the embassies and consulates of the two countries.

They also exchanged views on some issues related to bilateral ties.

“Iran’s strategic policy is to expand ties with China”

Amir Abdollahian also held talks with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang in Beijing.

The Iranian foreign minister referred to the strong steps that have been taken over the past year regarding bilateral ties, saying, “Our strategic policy is to expand ties with China." 

The Iranian foreign minister further spoke about the key agreements between the presidents of Iran and China and the strategic partnership treaty of the two countries. “I am confident that the agreements of the two presidents will be pursued and implemented seriously and bilateral ties will move ahead at higher speed," Amir Abdollahian said. 

He pointed to the policy of the sitting Iranian government regarding the expansion of ties with regional countries, saying the Islamic Republic welcomes partnership with China and the Persian Gulf littoral states in line with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The top Iranian diplomat further called for speeding up the holding of meetings of the Iran-China joint commission for economic cooperation in order to strengthen joint work between the two countries in various fields, including economic relations.

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