Iran FM Due in Tajikistan to Attend ECO Meeting

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman says the country’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to Tajikistan on Monday, April 16.

Accompanied by a political entourage, Zarif is due to attend the 23rd ECO Ministerial Meeting in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, announced Bahram Qassemi.

The Iranian foreign minister will also hold talks with senior Tajik officials and discuss ways to expand mutual cooperation, he added.

This is the second visit of Zarif to Tajikistan within the past few months.

In November 2017, the Iranian top diplomat visited the central Asian country as the first of its kind in the past couple of years.

Relations between the two countries took a nosedive in late December 2015 on the issue of the Islamic Movement of Tajikistan. While the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) was considered by the Tajik government as a banned party, its leader Muhiddin Kabiri, who lives in exile, was invited to an international conference in Tehran, and this outraged the Central Asian state.

Tajik authorities said despite the fact that Kabiri was accused of organizing riots in September 2015, Iran invited him to the International Conference of Islamic Unity while he was seated next to the head of Tajikistan’s state-backed Council of Islamic Ulema and other members of the official delegation from Tajikistan.

Meanwhile, informed sources say the tension between the two countries goes back to earlier times and is in connection with the assets of Babak Zanjani, the Iranian billionaire who is in jail and was earlier sentenced to death.

Many believe Zarif’s visits to Dushanbe could be a serious step to mend Iran-Tajikistan ties.

   
   

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