African Leaders Support Iran’s N. Program

A03210736.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Presidents of Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Zimbabwe and Namibia as well as prime minister of Lesotho voiced support for Iran’s right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.The strong support of the African leaders was stated in their separate meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

During the meetings, Mottaki reiterated Iran’s resolve to further expand ties with Africa in 2008, and said that Tehran would soon host a meeting of Iranian and African deputy foreign ministers to identify Iran’s potentials and existing grounds for cooperation in areas of investment, trade and implementation of projects.

He also said that the Tehran meeting would prepare the ground for a later meeting of Iranian and African foreign ministers.

Mottaki also briefed the African leaders about the latest developments in the trend of cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

For his part, Algerian president welcomed the Iran-Africa ministerial meeting, and voiced support for Iran-IAEA cooperation.

He also reiterated the necessity for care and close attention to the reports presented by the IAEA Director General, Mohammad ElBaradei.

Meantime, presidents of Mauritania, Mali, Zimbabwe and Namibia as well as the prime minister of Lesotho stated their preparedness to send envoys to the Iran-Africa meeting in Tehran, and also stressed Iran’s right to make use of civilian nuclear energy.

They also underlined that the UN nuclear watchdog agency should be viewed as a specialized body and authority in Iran’s nuclear issue.

Elsewhere, the Iranian foreign minister met with Ethiopian parliament speaker, where the latter one voiced satisfaction with the two states’ political relations and stressed the need for the boosting of trade exchanges and development of economic ties between the two nations.

The Ethiopian speaker also called for the expansion of parliamentary relations between the two countries.

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