Iran FM discusses ties with Ukrainian, Iraqi counterparts
The Iranian foreign minister discussed bilateral ties with his Ukrainian and Iraqi counterparts in separate phone calls on Thursday.
Speaking to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said over the past three decades, bilateral ties have always been based on friendship, mutual respect, common interests and cooperation, according to mfa.gov.ir.
He expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to take part, within the framework of an agreement currently under negotiation, in efforts to open a corridor via the Bosphorus for grain exports from Ukraine.
Ukraine's Black Sea ports have been blocked since the beginning of the conflict in the European country in February and more than 20 million tons of grain are stuck in silos there.
Amir-Abdollahian underlined the Islamic Republic’s principled position of being against any war and conflict, reiterating that Iran stresses the necessity of focusing on a political solution to the crisis and refraining from protracting the armed conflict in Ukraine.
He voiced Iran’s willingness to pursue and contribute to diplomatic efforts to resolve Ukraine’s crisis pointing to a Wednesday meeting between Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the sixth summit of the heads of states of the Caspian Sea littoral states in Turkmenistan and his own negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Amir-Abdollahian noted, “We had announced from the very beginning that, while paying attention to the root cause of the crisis, we are against the war and maintain that it fails to be a good solution for resolving problems."
The Iranian foreign minister also invited his Ukrainian counterpart to visit Tehran in the near future.
Praising Iran for its anti-war stance, the Ukrainian foreign minister noted that his government welcomes any political assistance and support aimed at ending the crisis.
He also voiced his country’s willingness to expand all-out ties with the Islamic Republic, particularly in the agriculture sector and field of grain exports, describing as “constructive” the continuation of Kyiv-Tehran talks on the development of relations.
Kuleba also extended an invitation to Amir-Abdollahian for an official visit to Ukraine.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
At the time, Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
The military operation has led to heightened tensions between Russia and the West, with the United States and its allies slapping unprecedented sanctions on Moscow and flooding Ukraine with advanced weapons.
Russia has said that the Western supply of weapons to Ukraine and sanctions would prolong the ongoing crisis.
In his talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Amir-Abdollahian stressed the expansion of bilateral relations, while discussing the latest regional developments.
He appreciated efforts by Iraqi officials to facilitate affairs pertaining to the Hajj pilgrimage for Iranians, requesting the Iraqi government to do the follow-ups on the remaining related issues.
The Iraqi foreign minister pledged support regarding the unresolved Hajj pilgrimage issues, highlighting the Iraqi government’s readiness to prepare the ground for the new round of normalization talks between Tehran and Riyadh.
He expressed hope that the negotiations would lead to positive developments in the resumption of relations between the two important regional countries.
Tehran and Riyadh have held five rounds of negotiations to prepare the ground for the normalization of the ties that were severed in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed the Arab state’s embassy in the Iranian capital.
In the years that ensued, the kingdom pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but it appears that it has recently changed tack.
The two neighbors remain deeply divided over a set of regional issues, mainly the destructive Saudi-led war on Yemen.
Both Tehran and Riyadh have hinted that some progress has been made in their recent rounds of negotiations.
Source: Tehran Times