TEHRAN - 29 May 2012.
Both Iran and Algeria are Muslim states with amicable ties. In recent years the two sides moved to expand their relations in all fields. In an interview with Iran Daily, the Algerian Ambassador to Tehran Sofiane Mimouni explains his country’s ties with Iran and the latest international development.
Iran Daily: How do you view the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Africa?
Ambassador Mimouni: Indeed the Iranian Government has stated several times that the development of its relations with African countries is a foreign policy priority. We welcome this statement and look forward to a real partnership between Africa and the Government of Iran.
The decision of His Excellency President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to receive the ambassadors and heads of African diplomatic missions in Teheran on the occasion of the celebration of Africa Day and the participation today of His Excellency Ali Akbar Salehi to this event illustrate the excellent relations existing between Iran and Africa but also the common desires to strengthen further the economic cooperation.
It is important that Africa and Iran are today strengthening their cooperation in order to take advantage of the enormous potential inherent in their economies.
There is a strong willingness among African countries to cooperate with Iran in order to overcome the challenges of development. In this regard, it is imperative that the two parties maintain and reinforce the dialogue and remain conscious of their mutual aspirations and commitments. They must foster relations and pursue relationships leading to the establishment of partnership relations, mutual benefit and common development.
- What is the rote of the African Union in the settlement of the conflicts in Africa?
The African Union plays an important role in the resolution of conflicts and the maintenance of peace in the continent. In order to overcome this challenge, the African Union has established a Peace and Security Council with a mandate to intervene in conflicts by deploying peacekeeping missions or military forces in some situations. There is no doubt that Africa has demonstrated in the last few years its strong to cope the challenges it faces, in this regard, the efforts deployed by the Council of Peace and Security reflect the renewed commitment of the African Union to fully play its role in the resolution of conflicts and crises that continue to plague the continent and in the promotion of peace and security in the continent.
- Why is the African Union not playing any role in the settlement of the conflict between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan?
The African Union is playing an important role in the settlement of the conflict between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. From its inception, the African Union has expressed its serious concerns about the situation created by the fighting between the two parties and has shown a strong determination in resolving this conflict. In this regard, the African Union has elaborated a roadmap for the settlement t of this conflict and made an appeal to the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan to cooperate fully in the implementation of the African Union Roadmap which now has the full support of the Security Council of the United Nations through its resolution 2044 (2012) dated May 2, 2012.
|President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with H.E. Mr. Sofiane Mimouni, Algerian Ambassador to Tehran.
- What is your evaluation of relations between Algeria and Iran?
The longstanding relations of friendship between the two countries have been marked in the course of these last years by a shared willingness to put bilateral relations on a new dynamic. This dynamic was reflected through the regular high level consultations between the two presidents on bilateral a well as multilateral issues.
It was also reflected during the visit that Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi paid to Algeria last year and the holding in Tehran of the first session of the High Joint Commission between Algeria and Iran.
President Bouteflika and President Ahmadinejad decided to give new impetus to bilateral cooperation by exploiting all the Opportunities for strengthening the political, economical, scientific and cultural relations.
In the political field, the two countries succeeded in establishing a tradition of dialogue and consultations on issues of common interest at the highest level. In addition to the consultations between the two presidents, there is a mechanism for regular political consultations between our two foreign ministries.
With regard to the economic field, I note with satisfaction the holding in Tehran, on November 2010, of the first session of the High Joint Commission, which provided an excellent opportunity to make an assessment of our relationships and succeeded in identifying new areas of cooperation in order to strengthen our cooperation and to diversify our trade. This session have illustrated the desire of the two countries to start a new phase marked by a political will and a mutual resolve to reinforce and develop the bilateral relations.
Culture is, also an important part of our bilateral cooperation as we believe it is the preferred vehicle of the understanding between the Algerian and the Iranian peoples.
In this respect, a week of handicrafts of the province of Isfahan was held in Algiers in February 2008 and, last February, Tehran hosted a week of the Algerian handicrafts. Iran plans to hold a week of the Iranian craft in Algeria before the end of the уеar. This means that the executive program of cultural exchange signed by the two countries is implemented. It means that the Algerian-Iranian cooperation is strengthening in a continuous, comprehensive and balanced way in order to involve all aspects of our relationships.
source: Iran Daily