Iranian president Ibrahim Raisi receives warm welcome in Zimbabwe
Raisi lands in Zimbabwe, the last destination of his African tour.
President Ibrahim Raisi received a red carpet welcome in Zimbabwe on Thursday, marking the final destination of his Africa tour.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa greeted Raisi as "my brother" upon his arrival at Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital city, Harare.
"When you see him, you see me. When you see me, you see him," Mnangagwa proclaimed to a crowd of midst a crowd waving Zimbabwean and Iranian flags.
Hundreds of Zimbabweans, including women and school children, gathered to welcome the Iranian president.
"When we went to war Iran was our friend," Mnangagwa said referring to Zimbabwe's war of independence against Britain.
"I am happy you have come to show solidarity," Mnangagwa told Raisi setting the stage for discussions between the two leaders.
Melody Muzenda, a spokeswoman for Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party, emphasized that the visit demonstrates Zimbabwe's positive relations with other countries, showcasing the country's efforts to strengthen its international standing.
President Raisi's visit to Zimbabwe signifies a significant step in Iran's diplomatic efforts to reduce isolation and counter the impact of re-imposed sanctions since the United States' withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018. By engaging with Zimbabwe and other African nations, Iran aims to foster economic cooperation and enhance its diplomatic standing on the global stage, while Zimbabwe seeks to strengthen its international ties and overcome its own challenges.
Raisi's visit marks the first by an Iranian president to Africa in 11 years and aligns with Iran's comprehensive foreign policy to strengthen relations with friendly nations and the pursuit of economic multilateralism, aiming to bolster Iran's presence in the African economy.
Raisi, who is heading a cross-industry delegation, plans to establish stronger ties with the designated countries through his strip and sign bi-mutual agreements in several fields including the trade and financial sectors. His mission comes in line with Iran's strategy to strengthen relations with friendly nations and in pursuit of economic multilateralism.
Arriving at the Nairobi airport Wednesday morning, Iran's president was greeted by Kenya's Foreign Secretary Alfred Mutua, after which he was given a state-reception ceremony from his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, at the presidential palace.
Before embarking on his tour, Raisi expressed hope that it will have good outcomes across several fields including the commercial, scientific, and technological.
“Contacts with African countries are today among the priorities of our foreign policy. The neighborliness policy and relations with Muslim and allied countries are among the issues of concern to the government,” he added.
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