Iran's FM: Relations with Africa priority of Iran's foreign policy
Expansion of relations with the African continent is a priority in Iran's foreign policy, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said here on Sunday night, Press TV reported.
He made the remarks in a meeting with the Iranians residing in Ghana's capital, Accra.
"African continent has a high place in the world today and it is a continent which should be recognized once again," Salehi said. "Africa has been awakened after years of oppression and powers' dominance".
Salehi noted that Ghana has a good percentage of growth and there is a bright economic future for it.
"Iran is committed to expand relations with African countries including Ghana; despite pressures, Iran has made good progress in various fields of science, including the launch of satellites, peaceful nuclear energy and animal simulation".
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi arrived in Ghana capital city Sunday on the second leg of his African tour.
Salehi is slated to meet with Ghana's senior officials to discuss the latest regional and international developments as well as bilateral relations.
On Sunday, Salehi met with Benin's hign-ranking officials.
In a meeting with Benin's Foreign Minister Nassirou Bako-Arifari, the Iranian foreign minister noted that Benin as the current leader of the African Union can play a significant role in regional and global developments.
He also thanked Benin president who led a high ranking delegation to Tehran to attend Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) last September.
The two ministers also reviewed latest developments in African continent as well as the status of countries such as Mali and Central Africa.
Benin foreign minister, for his part, described Salehi's visit to his country as sign of willingness to bolster cooperation and solidarity between the two nations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran as a regional power and NAM leader can help resolve regional disputes and also enhance the level of diplomatic ties with other countries, said Benin foreign minister.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration has tried hard to maximize relations with the African continent in the last decade.
Iran is now 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.