Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here on Sunday said that his country would open its embassy in the Gambian capital city of Banjul in the near future. Addressing a ceremony on the start of activity by Gambia’s embassy in Tehran, Mottaki described inauguration of the embassy’s operation in Tehran as a materialization of the resolve of the Iranian and Gambian nations and governments to attain the goals considered by the two countries’ senior officials and as a practical measure to further promote the two countries’ cordial ties.
He further said that the start of activity by the two countries’ embassies promises a lustrous future in the expansion of friendly relations, and further expressed the hope that the two sides would take more effective executive steps and show enhanced activity in expanding ties.
The Iranian top diplomat also said that Iran and Gambia share many identical views and stances on a majority of international issues, and continued, “What is tried to be displayed to the world is the reality of Africa. There exist many giant resources and capitals, specially human resources, hidden in that continent.”
Reiterating that Tehran and Banjul support each other’s stances at the international organizations, he said that promotion of ties with Africa, including Gambia, sets the general policy of the Islamic Republic.
Noting Gambia’s desirable potentials in different fields, agriculture in particular, Mottaki invited Iranian governmental and private companies to make investments in that country, particularly in Gambia’s foodstuff industries.
He also voiced preparedness of the Iranian ministry of power for implementing projects in Gambia as with certain other African states, and said that the start of operation by the two countries’ embassies, which he said, happens as a result of the joint efforts made by the two countries’ presidents and mutual visits, would lead to the expansion of economic cooperation and boom in the exchange of political views.
The foreign minister further said that increasing exchange of visits and views and enhanced trade ties and economic cooperation, specially in the implementation of joint ventures set part of Iran’s programs for expansion of ties with the African continent in the new (Iranian) year, and hoped that Iran and Africa could arrange a comprehensive meeting at an appropriate level in Tehran or one of the African capitals.
Elsewhere, pointing to the issue of the five Iranian diplomats kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil a few months ago, Mottaki said, “We have recently received some signs indicating the release of the five Iranian diplomats.”
“We take the United States responsible for the abduction of our diplomats and we take the Iraqi government responsible for their release,” Mottaki stressed.
Asked about a meeting between Iran’s envoy to the United Nations Javad Zarif and some US Senators Saturday night, Mottaki said the meeting did not serve any specific purpose, but meantime added, “But certain individuals from outside the US administration have already had meetings with Zarif, where the two sides have mainly discussed the situation in Iraq and the security conditions in that country.”