Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is ready to cooperate with Ghana in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
“A new chapter has begun in the very good relations between Iran and Ghana,” Zarif said in a meeting with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama in the African country's capital, Accra, on Tuesday.
He added that Tehran and Accra enjoy a “very good level of bilateral cooperation” and “very good and close multilateral cooperation in international organizations and bodies.”
The Iranian foreign minister said the trade delegation which is accompanying him in his tour of West African countries is among the biggest in recent years.
He added that the Iranian businessmen are ready to expand trade ties with Ghana.
Zarif is in Ghana on the second leg of a four-nation African tour. He paid a visit to Nigeria before arriving in Accra and will be traveling to Guinea-Conakry and Mali on the continuation of his tour.
The Ghanaian president, for his part, said he paid a visit to Tehran in February, almost a month after the implementation of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, and noted that his talks with Iranian officials were successful.
On January 16, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started implementing the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which they reached in July 2015.
Mahama added that the two countries have the potential to improve cooperation in oil, gas, agriculture and education.
He also pointed to the five-year foreign-backed militancy in Syria and said the crisis in the Arab country cannot be solved through military approaches.
The Ghanaian president added that his country supports political bids to settle the conflict in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in the Middle Eastern state, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
The Takfiri terrorists operating in the Arab country have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army has managed to liberate a number of areas from the grip of the extremists.