Italian FM arrives in Iran for talks on ties

Italian FM arrives in Iran for talks on ties
# 22 December 2013 03:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino arrived here on Saturday for talks on commercial ties between his country and Iran, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

During her two-day visit to Tehran, Bonino will hold talks with a number of Iranian officials on bilateral ties and regional and international issues, the official IRNA news agency reported.

On Saturday, she is scheduled to meet with Iran's vice president for environmental affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, and the vice president for women affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi. On Sunday, she will meet with Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, and will partake in a joint press conference with him.

Iran's ambassador to Italy, Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, said: "A new chapter has opened in the relations between two countries," according to IRNA.

Italy can swiftly gain its position as Iran's first commercial partner, Mozaffari was quoted as saying.

Bonino's visit, the first by an Italian official to Tehran since 2004, follows a deal between Iran and six world powers on curbing some of its nuclear activities in exchange for partial sanctions relief.

Bonino has hailed the deal as "the first essential step toward the reconstruction of a climate of indispensable confidence to reassure the international community."

According to the Italian-Iranian chamber of commerce, annual trade between the two countries has grown notably since 2002, reaching its peak of 9.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. After the EU's decision of widening commercial sanctions against Iran, bilateral trade in the first eleven months of 2012 was halved to 4. 8 billion dollars, which did not stop Italy from being Iran's top European trading partner.