Friday, 20 March, 2020

Iran, UK Embassies to Resume Issuing Visas in weeks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and Britain will resume issuing visas for the two countries’ citizens “within the next few weeks.”

Zarif made the remarks while speaking to reporters in London on Friday after a 1.5-hour meeting with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on the sidelines of a donor conference on Syria.

“In the meeting, we agreed that the two countries start issuing visa for ordinary citizens and ordinary passports within weeks,” the Iranian minister said.

“We believe that this measure is a positive move for further exchanges between the two countries’ people and we hope that it will be conducive to a better mutual understanding,” he added.

On August 23, 2015, the British foreign secretary attended a symbolic ceremony marking the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran.

Britain shut down its embassy in Tehran in November 2011 and withdrew its diplomatic staff after hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the UK embassy in Tehran against the expansion of London sanctions on the Islamic Republic, pulling down the UK flag and demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador.

Nearly two years after their diplomatic ties were severed, Iran and Britain agreed in October 2013 to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward reopening embassies.

Also in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister said he raised bilateral cooperation in banking, economic and investment sectors as well as regional issues with his British counterpart.

In January, Iranian President Rohani posted a tweet saying that the visa section of the British embassy in Tehran will soon be activated.

Rouhani said in his Twitter account: “David Cameron (Britain’s Prime Minister ) has said in a phone call that the visa section at the British embassy in Tehran will soon be activated.”

Hammond: Zarif’s visit to London symbol of warming ties

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond reiterated that the visit of his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the first in 10 years by an Iranian foreign minister, to London shows that the two countries’ relations are being expanded, IRNA reported.

‘The official visit by Iranian foreign minister, the first (by such high-level official of Iran) in the past 10 years is a symbol of warming (Tehran-London) relations,’ Hammond wrote on his Twitter account on Friday.

The British foreign secretary said that during his meeting with Zarif they discussed bilateral ties and regional developments.

Earlier today, Zarif announced that Tehran and London will resume issuing visas for the two countries’ citizens by March.

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