Apr 26, 2016

President Jacob Zuma’s State Visit To Iran Ended On a High Note

President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Iran ended on a high note with the signing of several agreements to take economic and trade relations to greater heights‚ following the lifting of sanctions in Iran‚ the presidency announced on Monday.

Zuma‚ who who made a state visit to Iran on Sunday and Monday‚ was ecited about his discussions with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.

South Africa viewed Iran as a strategic trading partner within the Middle East and Central Asian regions.

While the countries had maintained good relations over the years‚ total trade had been falling over the past decade owing to‚ among others‚ the non-existence of banking relations between the two countries and the various sanctions imposed by the West.

As of 2015‚ total trade between the two countries stood at R358 million.

Zuma said this figure did not reflect the optimal capabilities of the two economies.

The two presidents undertook to take cooperation in the fields of trade‚ education and skills development‚ science and technology‚ energy‚ including petrochemical gas exploration and refining capacity‚ agriculture‚ mining and mineral beneficiation‚ infrastructure development and transport‚ finance‚ banking and insurance and tourism.

They also witnessed the signing of a number of agreements

These included a memorandums of understanding and cooperation in the fields of trade and industry‚ agricultural cooperation.

The two leaders also discussed the regional and global threat of terrorism.

They agreed to strengthen intelligence cooperation on strategic regional security and stability issues to combat international terrorism.

They also agreed to intensify the call for the reform of the United Nations especially the UN Security Council‚ as the interests of the developing world needed to be protected.

Rouhani has accepted an invitation from Zuma to undertake a state visit to South Africa.

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