Publishe Date: 6:14 PM - 12/22/2013 | Print

Iranian, Italian FMs Meet in Tehran

Politics - Iranian and Italian Foreign Ministers Mohammad Javad Zarif and Emma Bonino held a meeting in Tehran on Sunday to discuss the latest developments in the relations between the two countries and their cooperation on regional issues.

During the meeting, Zarif referred to the good record of cooperation between the Iranian and Italian companies, and announced Tehran’s readiness to strengthen and expand bilateral relations in rail transportation, energy and oil sectors.

He also pointed to the regional and international developments, and said the two countries enjoy close positions on many issues.

Bonino, for her part, underlined Rome’s interest in developing bilateral ties with Tehran in line with the two countries’ interests, and said Italian companies are willing to cooperate with Iran.

“Italian companies are interested in cooperation with Iran in infrastructural projects, green economy, development of railway and energy fields,” she said.

The two top diplomats also conferred on regional issues, including Syria and Afghanistan, and the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers.

Bonino arrived in Tehran Saturday afternoon for an official visit which will include meetings with senior Iranian officials.

Bonino's two-day trip to the Iranian capital is taking place to reciprocate Zarif's recent visit to Italy.

During his stay in Tehran, the Italian top diplomat is slated to exchange views with the senior Iranian officials on the latest international and regional developments and discuss ways to expand the bilateral relations.

On Friday, Iran's Ambassador to Rome Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari said Italy is fully aware of the advantages of the expansion of bilateral ties with Iran where its companies can find eye-catching economic opportunities which cannot be found in any other place in the world.

Mozaffari pointed to a previous visit by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli to Iran in August following the election of President Hassan Rouhani and said, “Italy, as a European country which dispatched to Iran the first delegation at the deputy ministerial level, has sought to play a pioneering role in relations with Iran.”

He noted that the Italian foreign minister will meet with President Rouhani, foreign minister Zarif, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.

Bonino is also likely to meet with Director of Iran's Department of the Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar and Vice-President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Elham Aminzadeh.

Mozaffari pointed out that Bonino is the first Italian foreign minister to visit Iran in nearly a decade and she will be accompanied by 20 Italian journalists.

Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema was in Tehran earlier this week and had a series of meetings with high-ranking Iranian officials, including Expediency Council Chairman and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

D'Alema was Italian Prime Minister since 1998-2000 and served as foreign minister in 2006-2008.

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