Publishe Date: 11:27 AM - 9/10/2014 | Print

Deputy FM Demands Tehran-Pretoria Cooperation in Combating Extremism, Violence

Politics - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian warned against the spread of extremism and violence in different parts of the world, and called on Iran and South Africa to boost their cooperation in fighting terrorism.

"Tehran and Pretoria should increase their cooperation in campaign against extremism and terrorism)," Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with his South African counterpart in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister reiterated that fighting violence and extremism in different parts of the world needs international cooperation.

Amir Abdollahian pointed to the upcoming visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to Iran, and expressed the hope that the two countries would conclude good agreements during the trip.

The South African deputy foreign minister, for his part, said that expanding relations with Tehran is very important to Pretoria.

He noted that terrorism is one of the most important problems of the African continent, and said that Iran and South Africa should boost their cooperation in fighting extremism and violence in the world.

Iran has striven hard to maximize relations with the African continent.

Iran is also an observing member of the AU and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.

The country is considered as one of the AU's strategic partners along with India, Japan, China, several South American states and Turkey, while Tehran is also believed to be prioritizing promotion of its economic and political ties with the African states.

Last month, Pretoria's Ambassador to Tehran William Max Whitehead announced that President Zuma plans to pay an official visit to Iran before 2015.

"President Zuma will visit Iran in October concurrent with the 12th Joint Iran-South Africa Economic Cooperation Commission meeting," Max Whitehead said in a meeting with East Azarbaijan Governor General in Tabriz.

He noted that there are many commonalities between the two countries in economic and trade areas, and said, "Owing to its superior regional status, security and stability, Iran is at the center of attention of the African states, specially South Africa." "There are abundant potentials for cooperation with Iran in the mining, tourism, agriculture and scientific fields," Whitehead said.

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