Iran hails Zarif’s ‘very successful’ visit to China

October 14, 2020 - 15:50

TEHRAN - Mahmoud Vaezi, President Rouhani's chief of staff, praised on Wednesday the outcome of the chief Iranian diplomat’s visit to China, saying the top diplomat had a “very successful” visit to that country.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan on October 9. One day later, Zarif met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The two diplomats held talks on a range of issues including cooperation on developing a Covid-19 vaccine, boosting bilateral trade, and pursuing a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership plan between the two countries.

Speaking at the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday, Vaezi said, “Mr. Zarif’s visit was very good and during this visit, very comprehensive negotiations have been held about bilateral, economic, political and cultural issues as well as the 25-year plan.”

The president's chief of staff said the cabinet was briefed on the visit during the Wednesday session and that “there will be a good opening up in all areas after this trip,” given the foreign minister’s “good and successful visit to China,” according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency.

Vaezi added, “The country of China also sees Iran as a good partner in terms of economic and political issues.”

Zarif himself has described his visit to China as “fruitful.”

Following his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, he tweeted, “Fruitful talks in beautiful Tengchong with my friend Wang Yi on Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.” He added that Iran and China “rejected U.S. unilateralism, and the U.S. attempts to create a unipolar world.”

On the other hand, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has said Beijing was willing to deepen its strategic partnership with Tehran.

Speaking at a regular press conference on October 9, she said, “During Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif's upcoming visit to China, he will have talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. We want to work with Iran to deepen our bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.”

In addition to the 25-year plan, Zarif and Wang held talks on regional issues, according to Vaezi.

“During this trip, regional issues were discussed as well. It is natural that Iran and China attach importance to regional developments because China, due to the type of its economic ties with many countries around the world, attaches importance to the security of countries. It pursues issues more seriously than it did in the past.”

During Zarif’s visit, Wang proposed to create a “regional multilateral dialogue platform” to resolve differences in the Western Asia region through dialogue.

“China proposes to build a regional multilateral dialogue platform with equal participation of all stakeholders,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and China on Saturday, according to an AFP report.

The platform would “enhance mutual understanding through dialogue and explore political and diplomatic solutions to security issues in the Middle East [West Asia]”, the statement added.

In a bid to further support a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, China said that support for the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, would be a precondition of entry to the regional forum.