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Iranian FM Kicks Off Tour in North Africa by Meeting with Algerian Counterpart | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles during a meeting with Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Helsinki on Tuesday May 31, 2016. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

Algeria – Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began on Sunday his official tour to three African states by holding talks with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel.

During a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart, Zarif said that both countries shared common policies towards regional and international issues, while Messahel noted that the current circumstances were favorable to promoting cooperation between Iran and Algeria on the different levels.

Zarif said that his country considered dialogue as the best means to resolve regional and international problems.

Commenting on his talks with Messahel, he said: “Such meetings are necessary in the wake of the current developments.”

He also said he hoped that discussions between Iran and Algeria would lead to boosting cooperation between Islamic states and non-aligned countries on the international level.

The Algerian foreign minister, for his part, underlined the importance of negotiations in settling regional conflicts.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors topped the discussions of Zarif in Algeria.

The Iranian foreign minister said that fighting extremism “must be a priority for everyone”. He added that his country and Algeria shared common views regarding the need to preserve the values of sovereignty and non-interference in other countries’ affairs.

It is noteworthy that Algeria cut its ties with Tehran in 1993 after it accused the Persian State of supporting extremist groups that emerged following the army’s interference to cancel the parliamentary elections results in 1991, which saw the victory of Islamists.

Relations were normalized in 2000 following a meeting between the two countries’ presidents under the auspices of the United Nations.

Zarif left for Mauritania on Monday in the second leg of his tour, which will later take him to Tunisia.