Volume. 12232

Iranian FM meets Beninese president
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_mt2(11).jpgTEHRAN - Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for expansion of ties between Iran and the African country of Benin.
On his first leg of four-nation tour of Africa, Salehi on Sunday met with Beninese President Thomas Yayi Boni in Cotonou, the largest city and economic capital of Benin. 
Salehi delivered the warm greetings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Yayi Boni and officially invited him to visit Tehran. 
He said that the consultations between Iran and Benin, as the current presidents of the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union respectively, may be very constructive.
Yayi Boni called Iran a significant partner for his country and stated that Benin is willing to have cooperation with Iran in all areas, namely agriculture, healthcare, education and energy.  
‘Iran able to promote diplomacy’
Salehi also held a separate meeting with Beninese Foreign Minister Nassirou Bako Arifari, during which the two officials called for expansion of ties. 
The Beninese foreign minister stated that Iran, as a regional power, is able to settle the regional issues and given the fact that Iran  is holding the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement, it can promote diplomatic relations between nations. 
Elsewhere in his remarks, Bako Arifari praised Iran’s initiative in holding national dialogue among the Damascus government and the opposition in efforts to resolve the 21-month old conflict in Syria.
Salehi will continue his tour by visiting Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Egypt.

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