Jun 23, 2023 06:26 UTC
  • Iran's FM wraps up Persian Gulf tour with 'very good news'

Iran's foreign minister has concluded a three-day tour of  Persian Gulf Arab neighbors, saying the visit will bear "very good news" for the countries and the region. 

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Thursday visited the UAE, where he discussed "bilateral relations and ways to enhance cooperation" in a meeting with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

Amir-Abdollahian extended an invitation from President Ebrahim Raeisi for Sheikh Mohammed to visit, Iran's foreign ministry said. 

He later met with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, who emphasized "the significance of establishing an international approach to multilateral action based on cooperation and partnership."

The two top diplomats placed a premium on the need for the promotion of cooperation between the two neighbors as they discussed issues of mutual interest, regional developments, and expansion of bilateral relations.

The areas of cooperation between Iran and the UAE in various political, economic, commercial, consular, cultural and scientific fields were among the matters of discussion.

The trip followed stops in Qatar, Kuwait and Oman -- the latest in a flurry of diplomatic moves by Tehran to improve relations with neighbors and secure the region. 

"In the framework of economic and commercial cooperation, we will have very good news for our beloved nation and the nations of these four countries in the future," Iran's Tasnim news agency quoted him as saying.

"The cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the countries on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf has entered a new chapter. In each of these countries, we have seriously put bilateral issues on our agenda," he added.

An agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March to restore ties after a years-long rupture has led to a dramatic shift in regional cooperation and a drive for fence-mending. 

Amir-Abdollahian said in his visit, "We discussed with each of these countries about removing obstacles and facilitating economic, commercial, tourism, scientific and technological cooperation and other areas of interest."

"Regarding the regional cooperation between the northern and southern littoral states of the Persian Gulf, the idea of ​​forming a dialogue and regional cooperation forum was proposed and it was welcomed by each of the four countries we visited."

The minister said the first meeting of the foreign ministers of the neighboring eight countries, namely those on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf plus Iran and Iraq, will be held in September at the initiative of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. 

"We take this initiative of the Secretary General as a good omen," Amir-Abdollahian said. 

During the visit, Iran and the UAE also signed an agreement to expand air transport services between the two countries and increase trade and tourism opportunities.