Iran’s FM, British PM Hail Progress in Bilateral Ties

Iran’s FM, British PM Hail Progress in Bilateral Ties

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks on Thursday, during which the two highlighted the progress in Tehran-London relations, and called for expansion of trade ties.

According to a spokesman for the British administration, Cameron had a brief conversation with Zarif in the margins of the Supporting Syria conference in London on Thursday.

“The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Zarif agreed that progress had been made on the bilateral relationship, and there was an opportunity to do more to boost trade links,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman also noted that Cameron has raised concerns over the dual Iranian-British nationals held in Iranian prisons, and called for swift progress in their cases.

Zarif, who is in London to attend a conference to raise money for Syrian refugees, also held a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the implementation of the recent nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.

He also met with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari, President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

During the meetings, bilateral ties, mutual and regional cooperation, and the Syrian crisis were discussed.

Earlier, Zarif had separately met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Elisabeth Wallstrom, and discussed bilateral relations and the latest regional developments.

He also held talks with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, during which Zarif voiced Iran’s support for the process of Geneva peace negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition, stressing that a political solution is the only way out of crisis in the Arab country.

He also urged a serious push for the battle against terrorism by all regional and international parties.

Zarif further strongly dismissed the “instrumental use” of terrorists in Syria by certain foreign players.

The UN chief, for his part, admired Iran’s constructive role in supporting the political process of Syrian-Syrian peace talks, and called for concerted action by the regional governments in the fight on terrorism.

Zarif arrived in London on Wednesday evening where representatives from 70 countries are meeting to discuss raising billions of dollars for the Syrian refugees.

The London conference is being jointly hosted by Britain, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations.

The event is built on 3 previous conferences that have been held in Kuwait.

The 2016 UN inter-agency appeals for the Syria crisis are an estimated $7.73 billion. An additional $1.2 billion in funding is required by affected regional governments as part of national response plans.

One of the aims of the conference in London is to ensure there are school places for all refugee children in the region by 2017, as well helping the host countries to provide places for their own children.

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