TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Brazil early Tuesday after visiting Senegal in the first leg of his tour of Africa and South America.

During his one-day stay in Senegal, Foreign Minister Zarif held meetings with senior officials of the West African nation and attended an economic forum.

The top Iranian diplomat had announced earlier that his trip, including a big business delegation, revolves around expansion of economic ties.

In a meeting with his Senegalese counterpart in Dakar on Monday, Zarif pointed to the leading role of Senegal in the Muslim world and the Non-Aligned Movement, calling for closer ties in various fields, such as the oil and gas industry, medicine, health, and education.

The Iranian minister also held a meeting with President of Senegal Macky Sall, after attending the Iran-Senegal Joint Economic Forum.

In another meeting with Senegal’s parliament speaker, Zarif called for closer interaction between Tehran and Dakar in the fight against extremism and in supporting the Palestinian nation against Israeli violence.

Also in a business meeting attended by Foreign Minister Zarif, an Iranian firm signed an agreement with a Senegalese company to construct a residential complex in Dakar.

In another event, members of the Iranian delegation accompanying Foreign Minister Zarif met with the Senegalese science minister for talks on cooperation on the basis of science-based economy and development of sci-tech parks as well as knowledge-based companies.

Foreign Minister Zarif’s entourage in the tour of Senegal, Brazil, Uruguay and Liberia includes representatives of tens of companies and entrepreneurs from both the state-run and private sectors.