TEHRAN, Apr. 17 – Iran’s FM Zarif said his 3-nation tour to Turkmenistan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan aims at expanding grounds for more non-oil exports to Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remark upon arrival at Ashgabat Airport Saturday night. He was welcomed by Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan and a delegation from the Iranian Embassy.

Zarif is scheduled for talks with Turkmen officials on Monday. He will then leave for Georgia and Kyrgyzstan as the second and third legs of his tour.

“There is an opportunity for transit cooperation with Georgia by connecting the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, which will be a very desirable prospect for transit and North-South pathway,” Zarif said about the goals of his visits.

He also maintained that Iranian Foreign Ministry is planning to boost opportunities for the export of technical and engineering services as well as non-oil products to these three countries; “a delegation of expert Iranian businessmen from the public and private sectors are accompanying me on this tour to evaluate the possibilities for such cooperation,” he added.

“Our region is faced with the threat of extremism and terrorism on all fronts, which makes it necessary for us to maintain close relations with regional countries,” Zarif stressed.

He went on to add, “Iran has ample opportunities and capacities for economic cooperation with countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus.”

The Iranian top diplomat further noted that the implementation of the previously signed MoUs with these three countries will be followed up during the visits. 

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