Iranian Spokesman Holds Extensive Talks in Tour of West Africa

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Khatibzadeh first paid a visit to Senegal, where he held talks with the African country’s high-ranking officials.

In a meeting with Senegal’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Abdullah Diyop, the two officials referred to the cultural and religious commonalities of Iran and Senegal and underlined the importance of the development of cultural ties and cooperation.

Khatibzadeh also referred to the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Senegal. He proposed that the two sides mark a cultural week, which was welcomed by the Senegalese side.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and Senegal’s minister of culture and communications also discussed the exchange of cultural, artistic and media delegations and ways to implement such cooperation, and reached an agreement over the matter.

In another meeting with Angom, Senegal’s Minister of State for Diplomatic Affairs, Khatibzadeh extended the congratulatory message of President Ebrahim Raisi to his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall on his appointment as the rotating president of the African Union.

In the meeting, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman described Senegal’s place in the Muslim world as important and referred to the country’s effective role in the African Union and in the West African region, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.

The Senegalese minister, for his part, expressed the country’s readiness to host the 5th session of the Iran-Senegal joint commission. The two sides also agreed on holding the meeting in late May.

On the second leg of his regional tour, Khatibzadeh visited Accra, the capital of Ghana, and held talks with the country’s officials.

In a meeting between the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the two sides underlined the importance of expanding and deepening cultural relations and cooperation and the significance of increasing popular relations between the two countries.

Khatibzadeh outlined Iran’s medical capabilities and proposed that Iran and Ghana cooperate in the fields of health and tourism, which was welcomed by the Ghanaian side.

Meanwhile, given that the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is approaching and proper infrastructure and facilities have been envisioned on Iran’s Kish and Qeshm islands and also the similarity between the climate of the islands and that of Qatar, Khatibzadeh proposed that Ghana’s national football team and their fans reside in the Iranian territory. The two sides agreed to be in touch with each other over the matter.

In a meeting between Khatibzadeh and Ghana’s deputy foreign minister, the latest developments in bilateral ties and cooperation between the two nations were discussed and necessary planning was made for the seventh meeting of the Iran-Ghana joint cooperation commission in Tehran.

On the last leg of his West African tour, Khatibzadeh met with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister David Francis in Freetown.

In the meeting, the top diplomat of Sierra Leone described exchanging diplomatic delegations between the two countries as important and effective. David Francis also thanked his Iranian counterpart for inviting him to visit Tehran and expressed hope that the trip would result in further expanding and deepening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Khatibzadeh also referred to 60 years of diplomatic relations between Iran and Sierra Leone and underlined the need to maintain the expansion of cooperation and exchange of experiences in the political, cultural and educational fields.

He further stressed the need to increase bilateral trade and proposed the formation of a joint commission for bilateral cooperation, which was welcomed by the Sierra Leonean side.

In another meeting with Mohammad Rahman Savareh, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, cultural and media cooperation between the two countries was discussed.

The Sierra Leonean official referred to the role of Iranian institutions in his country’s cultural and educational development programs and called for exchange of experience between the two countries and also for Sierra Leone’s access to Iranian media and art products.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also underscored Iran’s readiness to develop and deepen cultural and media cooperation with Sierra Leone. Khatibzadeh proposed that the two countries hold cultural weeks in Tehran and Freetown, which was welcomed by the Sierra Leonean official.

During his stay in Sierra Leone, Khatibzadeh also visited the Red Crescent healthcare center and the Tehran-Kabul International Studies Center.

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