Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Iranian Top Diplomat Begins East Asia Tour

Tasnim
26 Aug 2019, 16:36 GMT+10

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif started his tour of East Asia on Monday, a few days after he returned from a tour of four European countries.

- Politics news -

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Zarif left Tehran for the Chinese capital of Beijing as the first stop of his Asian tour, which will also take him to Japan and Malaysia.

According to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, the visits are aimed at "following up and implementing the Islamic Republic of Iran's active and balanced diplomacy."

Bilateral relations and the most important regional and international issues are among the issues that would be discussed in Zarif's meetings with the officials of the three countries, the spokesman said.

The top Iranian diplomat returned to Tehran on Friday night from a tour of Europe that took him to Finland, Sweden, Norway and France.

In a message on his Twitter account at the conclusion of the European trip, Zarif said he held meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris "despite US efforts to destroy diplomacy."

He also highlighted the necessity for efforts to preserve multilateralism.

Zarif also made a flying visit for talks with host France at the G7 summit on Sunday, as Paris ramped up efforts to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.

He flew to the southwest French town of Biarritz where the Group of Seven leaders are meeting.

He held more than three hours of talks, including with Macron, before heading back to Tehran.

"Iran';s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDrian & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying," he tweeted later.

"The discussions that were held between the president and Zarif were positive and will continue," a French official said after the meeting, declining to take detailed questions.

The acceleration of Zarif's diplomatic activities comes after he was blacklisted by the US administration.

In August, the US Department of State designated Zarif for acting on behalf of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

The senior Iranian diplomat has dismissed the US move, saying that being designated by the US would not affect him since he has ho properties outside Iran.

He has received widespread public support and backing from the authorities after the US sanction.

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