TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amirabdollahian expressed the country’s determination to enhance relations with Nigeria in various fields.
On the third day of his stay in New York on Thursday, Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian held a meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The top Iranian diplomat emphasized the serious determination of the new Iranian government to expand relations with Nigeria.
He described the facilitation of the private sector trade environment of the two countries as a necessary factor to achieve this goal, calling for the establishment of a shipping line and also facilitation of visa issuance as effective steps in expanding relations.
Amirabdollahian said Iran’s Mahan Air is ready to establish a direct flight from Tehran to Lagos.
He then noted that the 6th meeting of the Joint Commission is ready to convene and will be hosted by Tehran, adding that holding the commission can give impetus to trade relations and raise them to the level of the current good political relations between the two countries.
Regarding the issue of Sheikh Zakzaki, the Iranian foreign minister said, “The case of Sheikh Zakzaki reached a good point following a constructive move by Nigerian officials.”
He underlined that the policy of the new government in Iran will be comprehensive expansion of relations with Africa, saying Iran is prepared to continue mutual support in the international community, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.
Amirabdollahian also extended Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s invitation for his Nigerian counterpart to visit Tehran.
For his part, Nigeria’s foreign minister conveyed the Nigerian president’s warm message to the high-ranking officials of Iran.
He described Iran as a “great civilization” and referred to the visit of the Nigerian president to Tehran six years ago as an unforgettable event that shows the solidarity of the two nations.
Onyeama noted that the state of trade and economic ties has not progressed along with political relations, expressing hope that the relations between the two countries could be raised to a new level.
He went on to say that Nigeria is prepared for a joint commission before the end of this year.
Onyeama also welcomed agreements such as direct flights and the establishment of a shipping route, calling for closer relations and cooperation in the industrial and agricultural fields which have priority over others on the agenda of the Iran-Nigeria joint commission.
The Nigerian foreign minister finally cited the possibility of cooperation in other areas, like fighting terrorism, as suggested issues for the two sides to consider.