After visiting high-ranking officials in China and the UAE, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani will go to Iraq soon to hold high-level talks in Baghdad.
During the past week, Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has been traveling to important countries to extend ties and empower cooperation in various fields.
First, the Iranian top security official went to China to ink the normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia, putting an end to years of political tensions between the two regional powers in the Middle East. Hosting the talks, China welcomed any such restoration of ties between countries and promised to help any such processes in favor of peace and security in the region.
“China will continue to support Mideast countries in resolving differences through dialogue and consultation to jointly promote lasting peace and stability. We respect the stature of Middle East countries as the masters of this region and oppose geopolitical competition there,” said a statement posted on China’s Foreign Ministry’s website last week on Saturday.
The Iranian security official in UAE
After making the historical deal with Saudi Arabia, Ali Shamkhani traveled to the UAE to continue his mission of extending cooperation with regional countries.
It was on this past Thursday that Shamkhani arrived in the UAE’s capital city, Abu Dhabi, to meet with the highest-ranking official in the country, the UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
He received Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary in his palace in Abu Dhabi and the two officials held talks for about three hours. During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed and Shamkhani discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and Iran and also talked about opportunities for enhancing cooperation between the two countries.
The two also talked about regional and international issues, for which both had areas of concern. They further emphasized the importance of working to support peace and cooperation in the region to enable progress and prosperity for the people of both countries.
Emphasizing the unchanging strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy in the field of comprehensive, continuous, and constructive cooperation with its neighbors, Shamkhani stated that “in order to overcome the existing challenges, the continuation of which is not in the interest of any country in the region, cooperation, and convergence should be replaced by hostility and divergence.
Shamkhani also called the existence of differences and mistrust between the countries of the Persian Gulf a serious obstacle to the economic development of the region and said: “we should talk and interact and expand political, security, economic and cultural cooperation and put aside our differences for the good of the whole region”.
For his part, Sheikh Mohamed hailed the restoration of relations between the two countries since last year and said: “considering the suitable platforms that have been created since a year ago for the development of relations between Iran and the UAE, I see this trip as a new stage for political, economic and security relations”.
The UAE almost cut its diplomatic ties with Iran after Saudi Arabia did the same with Tehran in 2016 following the storming of the Saudi embassy in the Islamic Republic by hardline protesters, which itself was a reaction to Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric.
Iraq, Shamkhani’s next destination
Moving Iran’s regional diplomacy ahead, Shamkhani is also scheduled to go to Iraq and meet with Iraqi officials. According to Iran’s state media reports, Shamkhani will visit Iraq soon to discuss security challenges as well as economic and banking issues that are vital in maintaining Iran and Iraq trade ties.
Good to mention that after China, Iraq is the second largest economic partner for the Islamic Republic and the volume of trade between the two countries is more than $10 billion per year.