Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has welcomed the expansion of ties with China, expressing hope for enhanced cooperation between Tehran and Beijing in political and economic fields.
Rouhani made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the joint summits of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Russian city of Ufa.
“Fortunately an accelerated momentum is taking shape in the relations between the two countries and I hope that the plan for the development of political cooperation between the two states … will go ahead at this pace,” he said.
Rouhani also expressed Tehran’s willingness to boost economic and banking cooperation with China.
He praised Beijing’s efforts for facilitating the progress of ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers for a comprehensive nuclear deal.
For his part, Xi said China favors a quick conclusion of the negotiations between Iran and six world powers – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Strong ties with Belarus
Also on Thursday, the Iranian president met with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.
He stressed that the Islamic Republic welcomes the development of ties in all sectors with Minsk, saying, “We hope that with the expansion of interactions, cooperation between the two countries will grow in all fields.”
Eradication of Afghan poppy production
Rouhani further met with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday.
He emphasized the necessity of a ban on opium production by the Afghan government, saying that narcotic production in Afghanistan must be eradicated as soon as possible.
The Afghan president, for his part, called for Iran’s support for combating drug traffickers and terrorists in Afghanistan, saying his country is today “witnessing war and bloodletting” which need to be stopped.