Iranian president in China to strengthen ties

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will pay a three-day visit to China with the ambition of strengthening ties with Iran’s main trading partner, state media said on Sunday. Ebrahim Raisi will leave Tehran for Beijing on Monday evening, at the invitation of his counterpart Xi Jinping, according to the Irna agency. The two presidents first met in September at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

During this summit, the Iranian president called for the strengthening of economic relations with Beijing, particularly in the areas of “oil and energy, transit, agriculture, trade and investment”. In March 2021, Iran reached a 25-year strategic and commercial cooperation agreement with China, a “friend of times of trial”, after years of discussions.

An essential business partner

China is Iran’s largest trading partner, reports Irna based on official statistics. Iranian exports to China reached $12.6 billion and imports $12.7 billion in the first ten months of the Iranian year starting in March 2022.

Beijing is also one of the key members of the multilateral dialogue which aims to relaunch the agreement concluded in 2015 between Iran on one side and six major powers on the other (China, Russia, United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom) as well as the European Union, in order to curb the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. In China, Ebrahim Raisi will have talks with Xi Jinping, Chinese businessmen and Iranians living in this country, according to Irna.

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