- Fiji News
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By Rinu Shyam
A delegation from Iran, on a visit to the Pacific region, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Suva yesterday.
Led by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs- director general for East Asia and the Pacific, Seyed Abdolrasoul Mohajer Hjazi, the delegation conveyed the Iranian President’s invitation for Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to attend the Non Aligned-Movement NAM Leaders Meeting in Tehran in August.
Mr Hjazi and his delegation said they were delighted and deeply honoured to be the first diplomats from their country to visit the Pacific region.
The delegation initiated discussions on how the two countries could establish formal diplomatic relations.
“We are keen to establish diplomatic relations with Fiji,” Mr Hjazi said.
He said Iran was willing to assist Fiji in areas like agriculture, education, engineering and tourism.
With 3.5 million students attending universities and tertiary institutions in Iran, students from Fiji could also be given opportunities to study there as English is a common language used in most Iranian universities.
Mr Hjazi said with experience in education and technology, Iran looked forward to assist Fiji in these fields. Not only that, there is a possibility of establishing oil companies from Iran, and oil could be sold here at a cheaper price.
Ratu Inoke expressed hope that very soon the two countries will formalise diplomatic relations and forge ahead with projects.
“It is important that we must first of all establish our formal diplomatic relations,” Ratu Inoke said.
He said this was expected to be worked out in New York by Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson.
Fiji and Iran are both members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and have incessantly upheld the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their statehood. Both countries have also preferred and respected non-interference by other states into their affairs.
Whilst media reports have western painted a negative picture of Iran, the director general has extended an invitation to Ratu Inoke to see firsthand the reality of life in Iran.
He said he had also read negative reports about Fiji, however, upon his arrival, it was a totally different story. He said people were friendly and he had enjoyed the Fijian hospitality.
The Iranian delegation returned yesterday.