Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

China’s Silk Road Initiative to Benefit All: Iran’s UN Ambassador

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Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo said reviving the ancient intercontinental Silk Road trade route could benefit all and help expedite the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“China is a great power, but this (the One Belt and One Road) initiative is not based on interference, and not based on colonialism…it is based on mutual benefit,” Khoshroo told the official Xinhua news agency on Saturday.

Noting that the One Belt and One Road Initiative would benefit all the countries involved, he said, “If we look in a comprehensive manner, it should be science and technology, investment, trade and people-to-people relationship — all these benefit all countries in one way or another”.

“We are living in a world that is so interconnected, so we need this connectivity” offered by the Belt and Road Initiative, said the Iranian ambassador.

“Because in the era of globalization, no country is isolated, and no country can have walls around itself,” he explained.

Emphasizing that Iran was a very important country on the ancient Silk Road and is also a very important country in the Belt and Road Initiative, Khoshroo said, “Iran is a great country, culturally, economically and strategically, and this connectivity brings it development, prosperity and jobs.”

“Iran can benefit from this interaction, which may be in different fields, such as energy, transportation, science and technology and investment,” he added.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Iranian official stressed that Tehran and Beijing should strengthen cooperation in the energy sector to make the initiative more meaningful and constructive.

“Energy is the advantage of Iran, and China has many advantages (like huge market) as well, so we will exchange these advantages in a way that is beneficiary for both sides,” he said.

“We need (the initiative) for development, for trade and for investment, and we need security, China can play a role through this cooperation,” said the ambassador.

Speaking of the benefits that the initiative will bring to the UN SDGs, Khoshroo said it “can strengthen the 2030 development goals of the United Nations, as the initiative can improve the economic situation in many poor areas if economic projects are beneficial for all.”

The SDGs, officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, includes 17 global goals with 169 targets to achieve.

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