June 4, 2023

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Belgium says willing to widen ties with Iran

TEHRAN- Belgium’s foreign minister has highlighted her nation’s openness to expand trade with Iran.

Hadja Lahbib, the Foreign Minister of Belgium, stated in a phone call with her Iranian counterpart late on Monday that Brussels is interested in enhancing partnership with Tehran and emphasized the need for cooperative efforts from the two nations to overcome the challenges.

For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian pointed to Iran’s historic connections to Belgium and expressed optimism that ties would deepen by putting an emphasis on practical and successful solutions.

The two top diplomats also discussed consular matters as well as the most recent situation of their respective countries’ bilateral relations.

The attempts to strengthen ties were supported by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during discussions with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in May 2022.

Utilizing the potential in the ties would open the door for greater collaboration between the two nations, Raisi said, highlighting the acceptable grounds and capacities for its advancement.

Iranian, Omani foreign ministers hold talks

On Monday night, the foreign ministers of Oman and Iran also spoke over the phone about their respective countries’ relations.

While wishing Omani Foreign Minister Badr Albusaidia happy Eid al-Fitr, Amir Abdollahian also spoke with him about major regional and global developments.   

Despite U.S. efforts to inflame anti-Iran sentiment in the Persian Gulf region, the relationship between Iran and Oman has always been premised on respect and shared interests.

According to Omani officials, Iran has always been seen as a good neighbor and that cordial ties with Iran are based on an optimistic attitude. 

“Iran will never budge on Helmand River water rights”

In a tweet on Monday, Foreign Minister Abdollahian also said he had discussed Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River with the Afghan side.

Amir Abdollahian made the comment in connection to his most recent meeting with Amir Khan Mottaqi, the foreign minister of the Afghan government controlled by the Taliban.

“We placed strong emphasis on the issue of Iran’s water right to the Helmand River during my recent negotiations with Mr. Mottaqi in the city of Samarkand,” Amir Abdollahian wrote.

The Afghan side has made clear that it is committed to Iran’s water rights, Amir Abdollahian continued, and the two sides “agreed to take immediate measures” in this respect.

The top Iranian diplomat declared, “We won’t give up Iran’s water rights.”

Iran and Afghanistan have been unable to fully realize the enormous potential of their commercial relations because of a lengthy water conflict.

The Helmand River, which springs in the Hindu Kush Mountains close to Kabul and flows 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) south before entering the Hamoun wetlands in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan region, is at the center of the conflict.

In 1973, the two nations agreed to share water rights along the Helmand River, and Afghanistan promised to provide Iran with an average of 820 million cubic meters of water annually.

Iran has chastised Afghanistan for breaking the agreement’s word and spirit on several occasions.

The development of many hydroelectric projects on the river, most notably the Kamal Khan dam in Nimrouz province and the Kajaki dam 160 km (100 miles) northwest of Kandahar province, has exacerbated the conflict.

Ebrahim Raisi, the President of Iran, called for “serious” action to protect the nation’s water rights from the river back in July and directed the foreign and energy ministries to prioritize the issue.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/483819/Belgium-says-willing-to-widen-ties-with-Iran

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