Tanzania leader, Iran FM discuss ties, embassy opening

Zarif invited President Kikwete to visit Iran before the end of his tenure later this year

By Peter Saramba Ongiri

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AA) – Tanzania and Iran discussed on Wednesday enhancing bilateral ties and opening a Tanzanian embassy in the Islamic republic.

"Tanzania still intends to open embassy in Teheran, capital of Iran, as had promised," President Jakaya Kikwete told visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"That will actually depend on our financial and economic conditions," he said.

President Kikwete also reiterated Tanzania's commitment to work with Iran and the international community to fight terrorism.

"We are always on alert for terrorism activities because we are not left aside from terrorist threats," he said.

"Tanzania still remembers when the U.S. embassy was bombed in 1998, seeing many innocent Tanzanians losing their lives," recalled Kikwete.

He said Tanzania, Iran and other nations have the same important and equal role in fighting terrorism.

Zarif, for his part, highlighted economic and business cooperation opportunities between the two countries, especially in the energy and rail sectors.

"We can work together in these opportunities," he said.

The Iranian minister is accompanied by senior government officials and a large group of businessmen.

Zarif also invited President Kikwete to visit Iran before the end of his tenure later this year.

Tanzania is electing a new president in October.

Zarif is expected to meet Thursday with his Tanzanian counterpart Bernard Membe before addressing the media.

The Iranian foreign minister is currently on a regional tour that has already taken him to Kenya and Uganda.

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