Iran’s FM Starts 11-Day Tour of Southeastern Asia

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday morning arrived in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta as the first destination of his tour of six countries, which will later take him to three other ASEAN countries and the Oceania.

Foreign Minister Zarif is visiting Indonesia to attend an extraordinary meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) due to be held in Jakarta on the issue of Palestine and the Holy Quds, Iran’s Ambassador to Jakarta Valiollah Mohammadi told Tasnim on Saturday.

Zarif will also take part in the ministerial meeting on Sunday noon, and the Leaders’ Summit on Monday on behalf of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian envoy added.

The Iranian foreign minister will also hold separate meetings with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi and President Joko Widodo, he said at the time.

Ahead of the meetings, the Iranian envoy expressed the hope that the value of trade exchanges between the two countries would again rise to $2 billion after removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

“The political ties and mutual cooperation between Iran and Indonesia are very good, and the economic relations have been recently reinforced with the implementation of JCPOA (the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers),” Mohammadi said.

“It is hoped that we will witness the results and benefits of the (recent) developments in the two countries’ ties soon,” he added, expressing the hope that with the removal of anti-Iran sanctions, the value of economic exchanges between Tehran and Jakarta, which stood at $2 billion in 2011 but dropped to $300 million last year, would rise to $2 billion again.

The ongoing visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is expected to boost bilateral ties, Iran’s ambassador noted.

Zarif’s 11-day tour of southeastern Asia and Oceania is scheduled to go on with official visits to five other countries including Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.

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