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PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir stated that his official visit to Iran, which concluded today, is a manifestation of the active diplomacy policy introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He noted that the four-day trip was the first visit of a Malaysian Foreign Minister to Iran in seven years – since the last one in 2016.

“It is also a serious and ongoing effort by Malaysia to further strengthen bilateral relations with all Islamic countries, including Iran. This follows positive geopolitical developments in the West Asian region in recent times,“ he said in a statement on Wednesday.

During this visit, Zambry held meetings with top Iranian leaders, including President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and his counterpart Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

He also met with the Minister of Information and Communications Technology; the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade; the Minister of Science, Research, and Technology; as well as the Minister of Agriculture Jihad.

Zambry mentioned that President Raisi of Iran had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister during the said meeting, and Raisi welcomed Malaysia’s steps to enhance bilateral relations with Iran.

“As two influential Islamic countries, Malaysia and Iran have the potential to play a significant role in global issues that impact the Muslim community, particularly in jointly addressing Islamophobia,“ he said, adding that both leaders extended invitations to each other for official visits to their respective countries.

According to Zambry, the visit to Iran also aims to further expand market access for Malaysian commodities and products to the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

He mentioned that Iran’s strategic location, sharing borders with 15 other countries, has the potential to become a major hub for Malaysian commodity exports, especially palm oil products, which make up 70 per cent of Malaysia’s trade with Iran.

“Furthermore, I have touched upon the issue of food security, where Iran serves as an example of a country capable of maintaining self-sufficiency to ensure that their food supply remains at an optimal level,“ he said.

Several other important matters were also achieved during the visit, including the expansion of the potential for bilateral cooperation in various fields which will be refined through the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and Joint Economic Commission (JEC), and to explore new opportunities for cooperation in the fields of science and technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nanotechnology, medical equipment, and research related to vaccine development.

Other matters include cooperation in food security, especially in research and the halal industry, exploring more practical and efficient air connectivity between the two countries, and enhancing cooperation in the field of education.

This visit has successfully opened a new chapter in bilateral relations between Malaysia and Iran, as well as Malaysia’s relations with the West Asian region, stated Zambry. -Bernama