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Iran, Zambia say they intend to resume ties

7/20/01 Tehran, July 19, IRNA -- Iran and Zambia released a joint communique in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Thursday, saying they were intending to resume their diplomatic relations, severed since 1993.

The Information and Press Department of Iran's Foreign Ministry said that the two countries had agreed to resume their ties at the ambassadorial level.

"The governments of Iran and Republic of Zambia, given their interest in forging friendly ties and helpful bilateral cooperation, have decided to resume diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level," the department cited part of the communique as saying.

Zambian representative at the session for signing the communique, phonetically spelled as Hayden Banda, expressed pleasure at the resumption of Lusaka-Tehran relations, saying Zambia is keen to promote its ties with Iran in all fields, it said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, in line with its policies to promote ties with world countries, especially the third world and African nations and given Zambian government's tendency, is intending to resume ties with that country," Iran's Foreign Ministry said instead.

Zambia severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 1993, saying Iran had given aid to the Zambian opposition United National Independence Party to topple the Cheloopa regime.

Both Iran and the head of the UNIP categorically denied this allegation at the time.

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