Czech foreign minister urges Iran to help find solution to Syrian crisis
On a four day visit to Iran, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek on Monday met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss the need for cooperation in resolving the migrant crisis, global security issues and the breakthrough agreement on the country’s nuclear program which could bring a revitalization of economic relations.
“What is needed in Syria is a joint effort which would pave the ground for a political solution. So far we have repeatedly seen these efforts fail.”
Although the Czech Republic has a good reputation as a business partner in Iran the volume of business and trade has dropped by a half in recent years, not only due to the economic sanctions but due to a diplomatic spat over the Persian broadcasts of Prague-based Radio Free Europe due to which Teheran withdrew its ambassador from Prague in 1998.
The visit by the Czech foreign minister, the first since the late 1990s is an effort to mend relations and both sides appear to be ready for it. Mr. Zaorálek was accompanied to Iran by a delegation of around 60 business leaders seeking to tap new business opportunities opening up, particularly in the spheres of transport infrastructure, engineering, the steel and the aviation industries and environmental technologies. Mr. Zaorálek, who opened a business forum in Teheran, said the ground was being prepared for a reset in business relations but he warned that a revitalization of business ties would take years rather than months.
The visit to Teheran by the Czech foreign minister will be followed up by a visit to Prague by his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.