TEHRAN, May 29 (MNA) – The Iranian defense minister said Monday that the strategy of some Western countries in Africa is to pursue colonial goals and create tension and instability in the impoverished continent.
Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani made the remarks in the meeting with the Malian defense minister Sadio Camara in Tehran where he also said that since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has always followed the development of relations with African countries.
"In line with this principled policy, the Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran makes serious efforts to establish interaction with independent countries such as Mali," the Iranian defense minister added.
Thanking the government of Mali for expressing solidarity with oppressed Palestinian people, the Iranian minister listed this country's persistence in protecting the cause of the Holy Quds as a shining example of seeking rights and defending the oppressed.
Ashtiani pointed to the holding of the first joint commission on economic cooperation between the two countries last year and added that there have been good developments in the cooperation between the two countries recently.
Saying that the Western countries in Africa seek their colonial goals and creating tension and instability as their strategy, Ashtiani continued, "Although the Western states declare in a hypocritical way that the seek to expand security, history shows that in order to justify and legitimize their presence in the region and to meddle in the internal affairs of independent countries such as Mali, they handle and spread terrorism." The Iranian minister voiced Iran's readiness for helping Malli in the fight against terrorist groups by transferring and sharing capabilities and facilities as well as training and experience.
"Iran will not spare any effort in strengthening the defense power of Mali against the threats of terrorist groups," he added.
Sadio Camara, for his part, stated that the purpose of his visit was to expand and strengthen the relations between the two countries, adding "The nation and the government of Mali are trying to exercise the sovereignty over their country's borders and take full control of the security of the country, and the Islamic Republic of Iran in this regard is a role model for our nation." Referring to the experiences of Iran in the fight against terrorism, as well as popular mobilization and people's participation in ensuring their own security, Camara called on Iran to share those experiences to his country to benefit from them.
The Malian minister criticized Western colonialism and affirmed that the Western countries manipulate security in Africa in line with the goals, adding "The Mallian nation and the government have decided to assume the sovereignty and responsibility of their own security in their own hands and seek to decide for themselves on their fate.
In line with that goals, the experiences and support of the Islamic Republic matter a lot to us." SKH/5797467