TEHRAN, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday met with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe.
During the meeting, Raisi called for expanding the areas of cooperation between the two countries, and strengthening all-round cooperation, including in the military field.
Iran and China share similar positions in international affairs and support each other, said the Iranian president.
Iran, which opposes unilateralism, hegemonism and external interference, firmly supports China in safeguarding its core interests, Raisi said, while expressing gratitude to China for its long-term support and assistance during Iran's difficult times.
For his part, Wei said that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Raisi have exchanged telephone calls and letters since last year, leading to new progress in building the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The Chinese minister said that his visit to Iran, which came against the backdrop of the current turbulent international situation, reflected the importance of the China-Iran relations, their firm mutual support and joint progress.
He expressed China's strong support to Iran in safeguarding its national sovereignty and dignity, and its willingness to cooperate with Iran to deal with various risks and challenges, safeguard common interests, and jointly maintain regional and global peace and stability.
The Chinese and Iranian militaries have expanded the areas of cooperation in recent years, Wei said, adding that the Chinese military is willing to maintain strategic communication with Iran, make good use of the cooperation mechanisms, and boost pragmatic collaboration so as to lift the bilateral military ties to a higher level.
Earlier in the day, Wei held separate meetings with Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri and Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.
During the meetings, the two sides had in-depth exchange of views on the regional and international security situations, Iran's nuclear issue and the situation in Ukraine. They also reached consensuses on expanding high-level strategic communication, deepening military exchanges, and conducting joint exercises and personnel trainings. ■