Iranian, Australian FMs Meet in Tehran

Iranian, Australian FMs Meet in Tehran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Australian counterpart Julie Isabel Bishop held talks in Tehran on Saturday.

 In a press conference after the meeting, Zarif said they discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.

He said Tehran and Canberra are both concerned about extremism and terrorism in the region, including the atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.

Zarif also called for stronger international support for the Iraqi government in its fight against terrorism, but made it clear that Baghdad itself should manage the battle against the ISIL militants.

"Whatever Iran is doing in Iraq is in coordination with the Iraqi government," Zarif underlined.

The visiting Australian diplomat, for her part, described her talks with Zarif as constructive.

She noted that they discussed ways on how to confront the ISIL terrorists and support the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's administration.

Bishop also explained that the presence of Australian troops in Iraq for training the Iraqi forces is limited under a timetable.

She further hailed the progress made in the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany), saying that the negotiations should be balanced and beneficial to both sides.

The Australian top diplomat arrived in Tehran early on Saturday. She said upon arrival that it was "time for Australia and Iran to have this meeting.

"Clearly Iran, through Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, agreed that it was time for an Australian foreign minister to visit this country. It's been some 12 years since an Australian minister was here," she stated.

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