Iran, China FMs discuss 'progress' in ties ahead of BRICS summit

Iran, China FMs discuss 'progress' in ties ahead of BRICS summit

Phone call between the top diplomats came ahead of BRICS summit in South Africa

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

TEHRAN (AA) - The foreign ministers of Iran and China discussed latest developments in bilateral and international relations in a telephone call on Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian congratulated Wang Yi on his reappointment as the Chinese foreign minister and evaluated relations between the two sides as "positive and forward-looking."

Referring to "good progress" in the implementation of agreements reached during Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Beijing in February, Iran's top diplomat hailed "progress" in the 25-year strategic agreement between the two sides.

The conversation comes two days before the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa where both Raisi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to take part.

The ministry said the two officials discussed the upcoming BRICS summit and issues related to the expansion of the influential grouping.

Wang considered Iran to be an "important member of the Belt and Road Initiative" and termed Iran's presence in the upcoming meeting of the initiative "important."

Chinese state media said Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, expressed Beijing's readiness to continue to work with Iran on "issues of core interests."

The two sides, he said, are "making every effort to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and pushing forward exchanges and cooperation in various fields," Xinhua news agency reported.

He also commended steps taken by Iran and Saudi Arabia to improve ties after the dialogue hosted by Beijing in March that led to their rapprochement.

"China appreciates Iran's correct decision, and will continue to support countries in the Middle East in exploring a development path that suits their own national conditions, strengthening communication and dialogue, adhering to unity and self-improvement, and realizing good neighborliness and friendship," Wang said.

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