Tehran stresses closer cooperation with Caracas

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has underlined the need for continued cooperation between Tehran and Caracas in different areas, particularly in the economic sphere.

In a Sunday meeting with visiting Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia, the Middle East and Oceania Xoan Pablo Noya Alarcon in Tehran, the top Iranian diplomat urged the two nations to further boost their already flourishing ties.

Zarif then pointed to a fresh meeting of the Iran-Venezuela Joint Economic Commission slated to be held in the coming months, calling on both countries to continue their cooperation in economic, trade and industrial areas.

The Venezuelan deputy foreign minister, for his part, hailed broad relations  between Tehran and Caracas, expressing gratitude to the Islamic Republic for its stance on the latest developments in his country.

Venezuela has witnessed violent pro- and anti-government protests since February 12. The unrest has left 18 people dead and over 250 others hurt. The opposition has criticized Caracas for the country’s high crime rate and economic hardships.

Iran has censured the deadly violence in the Latin American country, saying it backs the Venezuelan government’s call for peace, calm and stability.

The Venezuelan official also described as “successful” a January visit to Caracas by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi.

In recent years, Iran has been seeking to enhance its relations with Latin American countries within the framework of international organizations such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), whose rotating presidency is currently held by the Islamic Republic.

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