PRETORIA, The governments of South Africa and Iran have called for the immediate cessation of hostilities and bloodshed to end the war against the people of Yemen and the spread of terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday paid an official visit to South Africa at the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The two sides expressed deep concern over the continued destructive war in Yemen and the spread of terrorism in the country, a joint communique issued after the 13th Joint Commission meeting between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran said.

Both sides emphasized that negotiations for a peaceful and comprehensive settlement must be reached through an inclusive Yemani-Yemani dialogue.

The two sides also expressed concern on the impact of the major humanitarian crisis and its negative consequences on the economic situation and the continued suffering of the people of the country. Both sides emphasised the need to urgently address the blockade and for the international community to significantly scale up its humanitarian assistance, the joint communique said.

Both Ministers held an extensive exchange of views on the status of the bilateral relationship as well as on regional and international issues.

They emphasized the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

They took note of the tenacity and resistance of the people of Syria in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups. They also called on the international community as well as international organisations to act in a responsible manner and to work collectively within the ambit of the multilateral system in addressing the manifold challenges including the war on terrorism in all its forms, the joint communique said.

South Africa and Iran expressed their support on the political initiatives as well as the outcomes of the Astana and Geneva Talks for settling the Syrian crisis through inclusive Syria-Syria talks while condemning any foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country.

Both sides welcomed the liberation of Syrian territories previously held by terrorist groups. The two sides emphasized the need to provide adequate measures to address the plight of returning displaced persons and declared their readiness to support reconstruction efforts in Syria, the joint communique said.

South Africa and Iran condemned the continued illegal occupation and acts of aggression of the Israeli regime against the oppressed Palestinian people.

They further deplored the recent accelerated expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories and the destruction of the holy sites of Muslims and Christians in the city of Quds and the continued blockade of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, the joint communique said.

The two sides stressed the need to maintain security and stability in the Middle East, which is being undermined by the continued occupation of Palestinian territories and the aggressive actions of the Israeli regime.

They also called on the international community to further strengthen their support for the legal and legitimate demands of the Palestinian people toward the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state.

Iran expressed its appreciation for the positive role that the Republic of South Africa is playing in the region and Africa.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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