TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Senegal on the first leg of a four-nation tour of Africa and South America, participated in a joint economic meeting between the Islamic Republic and the Western African country.

Addressing the meeting in Dakar on Monday, Zarif said the forum indicates that Iran and Senegal share “a common political will” to pave the way for active presence of the two countries’ private sectors in one another’s markets.  

“The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Senegal, as two major countries in West Asia and West Africa and the Muslim world, can serve as a bridge between these two important regions,” he said.

The Iranian top diplomat added that the two countries could also play an important role in the economic development and prosperity of these two important regions, as well as expansion of regional and international peace and stability and unity of the Islamic world.

Speaking upon his arrival in Dakar earlier on Monday, Zarif said his tour of Africa and South America revolves around the expansion of economic ties.

The Iranian minister said he would hold political and economic negotiations with the officials of Senegal, which he hailed as a major francophone African nation.

Pointing to Iran’s active presence in Senegal’s automobile industry and the suitable grounds for further economic cooperation, Zarif hoped that during his trip plans for the export of non-oil products as well as technical and engineering service to Senegal would be finalized.

Heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, Zarif began his tour of Senegal, Namibia, Brazil and Uruguay on Sunday evening.

His entourage in the trip includes representatives of tens of companies and entrepreneurs in various fields from both the state-run and private sectors.