TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday held separate talks with the new ambassadors of South Africa and Senegal to Tehran about a range of issues, including ways to deepen bilateral relations between Iran and the two African countries.

Speaking at the meeting with South Africa’s new ambassador to Tehran Vika Mazwi Khumalo, President Rouhani hailed the growing ties between Iran and South Africa, stressing that the Islamic Republic regards the country as its close friend.

“Given the two nations’ close (relationship), we are willing to establish more amicable and extensive ties with the popular and democratic government of South Africa,” he noted.

“The two countries have always supported each other politically and legally in the international arenas on various occasions,” Rouhani said, expressing the hope that the relations would further develop in cultural, political and economic fields.

In a separate meeting also on Tuesday, Rouhani and Senegal’s new ambassador to Tehran exchanged views about a range of topics, including ways to cement Tehran-Dakar relations in diverse spheres.

At the meetings, the new ambassadors of the two African countries submitted their credentials to the Iranian president.

Expansion of relations with African nations in all political, economic and cultural fields is top on the agenda of Iran's foreign policy.

Rouhani, who won a second term back in May 2017, has repeatedly stressed his government's interest in boosting relations with the African states.