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EghtesadOnline: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama in a meeting in Abuja on Monday underlined the need for the expansion of bilateral ties.

During the meeting in the Nigerian capital today, Zarif and Onyeama explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating mutual cooperation in different areas.

The two sides discussed expansion of economic and diplomatic relations, reports FNA.

Zarif, heading a high-ranking diplomatic and economic delegation, arrived in Abuja on Sunday night.

In a relevant development in November, Onyeama in a meeting with Zarif in Tehran voiced his country's willingness to expand all-out relations with Iran, specially in trade and economic fields.

"My government is resolved to deepen economic cooperation with Iran by removing the existing barriers," the Nigerian foreign minister said.

He described Iran as a country with vast capacities which Nigeria can benefit from.

Zarif, for his part, pointed to the status quo of Iran-Nigeria relations, and said, "Nigeria can be a hub for regional cooperation in Africa."

He reiterated that Iran and Nigeria can boost their cooperation in technological, scientific and economic areas.

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to the threats posed by the terrorist and extremist groups such as Boko Haram, the ISIL and Al-Shabab, and said, "The increasing threat of extremist groups in the world is rooted in the wrong thoughts of Takfiri groups and lack of real attention to the financial and spiritual support given to these groups."

Iran has long sought to boost bilateral ties and mutual cooperation with the African countries in a bid to help them with development.

Iran is also an observing member of the AU and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.

The country is considered as one of the AU's strategic partners along with India, Japan, China, several South American states and Turkey, while Tehran is also believed to be prioritizing promotion of its economic and political ties with the African states.

Mohammad Javad Zarif Geoffrey Onyeama