Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs discusses strengthening bilateral cooperation with Iranian leaders (1)
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, both of whom expressed a great deal of interest in the development of relations with Estonia.
“A new era in relations between the EU and Iran has begun, and in light of that, it is important to start strengthening bilateral cooperation between Estonia and Iran,” said Kaljurand, meeting with Zarif on an official visit to Iran.
Zarif noted that while positive developments in economic relations were already apparent, trade between the two countries could be strengthened considerably. He affirmed that Kaljurand’s visit and the meetings between entrepreneurs taking place over the course of the visit are important steps in the right direction.
The Iranian minister also expressed particular interest in Estonia’s e-governance and e-voting. Kaljurand confirmed that Estonia is prepared to share its experience with e-governance with Iran and invited Zarif to visit Estonia in order to learn more about the country, an invitation which Zarif was prepared to accept.
The two ministers discussed the issue of women and their empowerment in Iran, an issue which the Iranian minister confirmed is being actively addressed. They also discussed the situation in Iran’s neighboring areas, including Syria, as well as the situation in Ukraine and relations with Russia.
Kaljurand discussed the fight against terrorism and the security situation in Iran’s vicinity with the President of Iran as well. President Rouhani stated that the situation in several neighboring countries was disturbing and that in order to stop the spread of terrorism to Europe and elsewhere, the problem had to be addressed first and foremost at its source. Kaljurand said that cooperation between Iran and the EU was necessary to guarantee the security and stability of the region.
On Sunday, the Estonian minister also met with Ali Akbar Velayati, former longtime Minister of Foreign Affairs and current President of the the Expediency Discernment Council’s Center for Strategic Research, a leading Iranian think tank on strategy issues, as well as the President of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Mohsen Jalalpour.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand is currently on an official visit to Iran, the first such high-level visit to the country in Estonian history. She joined a 12-member delegation comprised of representatives of Estonian businesses that had arrived in Iran on Friday already.
The Estonian delegation is scheduled to be in Iran through April 12.