Iran deputy FM meets Bulgarian, South African counterparts

May 23, 2022 - 21:49

TEHRAN – Ali Bagheri Kani, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, held meetings with his Bulgarian and South African counterparts to discuss a variety of issues of mutual interest. 

In his meeting with Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Velislava Petrova, Bagheri Kani underlined Iran’s willingness to boost relations with Bulgaria, particularly in economic and trade fields. “Any problem or obstacle in this regard should be resolved through the mutual efforts of both countries and especially through the follow-up of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs,” he said. 

Referring to the traditional position of relations and the history of cooperation between the two countries, the deputy foreign minister of Iran stressed the readiness of Iran to improve specialized cooperation and accept Bulgaria's investment in Iran.

The two sides also reviewed regional and international developments and stressed the need for continuous consultation and exchange of experiences in various fields, including issues and consequences of the reception of migrants and refugees.

Referring to the 125-year history of Iran-Bulgaria diplomatic relations, Petrova said that her country's membership in the European Union provides more grounds for cooperation between the two countries in addition to bilateral relations.

She stressed the importance of establishing direct flights between Sofia and Tehran as facilitators of public, commercial and macro relations.

Petrova expressed satisfaction with trip to country with civilizational and cultural history like Iran and announced her country's readiness to hold the 20th joint economic commission of the two countries in the second half of this year in Tehran.

She stressed the areas of culture, sports and youth as the infrastructure of the two countries' long-standing relations, which can also contribute to the development of diplomatic relations.

“South Africa welcomes membership of Iran in next year's BRICS summit”

Bagheri Kani also met with South African Deputy Foreign Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

“The horizon of Iran-South Africa cooperation should be transnational and long-term, and diversification of cooperation along with the development of relations should be on the agenda of Iran-South Africa relations,” Bagheri Kani suggested. 

He also said, “Achieving peace and international stability in light of poverty, discrimination and injustice around the world is nothing but a mirage.”

Bagheri Kani added, “The international role of Iran and South Africa does not threaten the interests of any independent nation, because the cooperation between the two countries is based on the stabilizing, security-building and justice-seeking policies of Iran and South Africa in the international arena.”

Referring to the political, economic and strategic capacities of Iran and South Africa, which place heavy regional and international responsibilities on the two countries, Bagheri Kani said, “The development of cooperation between Iran and South Africa is a necessity to counter unilateralism and promote multilateralism.”

Citing the persistence and instructiveness of the successful resistance of the South African people against gross oppression and apartheid in the eyes of world, especially independent countries, the deputy foreign minister said, “Violators of the rights of the Iranian people due to the application and support of unilateral and illegal sanctions are exactly the same violators of the rights of the people of South Africa in the form of support for the apartheid regime.”

South Africans, after decades of struggle, won over the apartheid system in the early 1990s. They established a democratic government in 1994.

“Since the diversity of the violation of the human rights of the Iranian and South African nations by Westerners is unparalleled in the world, Tehran and Pretoria can be the global flag bearers for the protection of human rights against Westerners,” Bagheri Kani added.

Referring to the outbreak of Corona in the past two years, which has caused more inequalities in global relations, Mashego-Dlamini considered as necessary the acceleration of the development of existing relations and entry into new areas of economic, political and international cooperation between Iran and South Africa. 

Emphasizing that South Africa welcomes the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in next year's BRICS summit, he added, “We are trying to get Iran to have better and more economic relations and trade exchanges with other African countries through South Africa than before.”

The South African Deputy Foreign Minister also announced the holding of the 15th meeting of the Joint Economic Commission in Pretoria in the autumn of this year.