Regional projects termed golden opportunity to enhance Tehran-Islamabad ties
Senior diplomats, experts and intellectuals from Iran and Pakistan emphasizing the importance of Tehran-Islamabad ties said that regional connectivity projects like Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Plan and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would provide a golden opportunity to further expand bilateral cooperation between the two states.
They were speaking at the 16 rounds of talks between the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan’s Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
The meeting was attended by the directors-general of the two institutions, senior diplomats, intellectuals, and Iranian and Pakistani experts. The meeting was held through a video conference.
The webinar titled “Iran and Pakistan, and South Asia under the pandemic” was held in two sessions. The first session was chaired by Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) while the second was headed by Ambassador (Retd) Khalid Mahmood Chairman Board of Governors, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI).
In the webinar, Iranian and Pakistani experts discussed various issues such as bilateral relations, cooperation between the two countries in Afghanistan, and the US unilateral approach towards Iran-Pakistan cooperation.
The meeting was also attended by Seyed Rasool Mousavi, Director General of West Asia at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asif Hussain Manoun, Director-General of Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey at the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kayhan Barzegar, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies in the Middle East and Javid Hussain, former Ambassador Pakistan to Iran.
They said both Iran and Pakistan are victims of the scourge of terrorism, and this challenge persuades the two neighboring countries to strengthen their cooperation and develop and implement a joint roadmap to meet common challenges.
Referring to the US coercive and unilateral actions against the independent relations of other countries, especially mutual cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad the Iranian diplomats said Iran-Pakistan relations, especially their economic and banking interactions, are under pressure and American unilateralism.
Pointing out to the importance of regional economic plans, the Pakistani side said that the two countries are able to turn regional plans into an opportunity to strengthen relations and develop cooperation in various fields.
Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Plan, they said putting these plans together can open a new window of cooperation for the two neighboring countries.
Expressing their views on Afghanistan, Iranian and Pakistani experts stressed the need for coordination between Tehran and Islamabad, Afghanistan’s two main neighbors and hosts of refugees.
The webinar emphasized that the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan should take a very clear and firm position for the protection of women’s rights.
Referring to tensions in South Asia the Pakistani side stressed the need for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir conflict in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
**Iran, Pakistan joint border, a border of peace and friendship
The speakers said sustainable security on the Pakistan-Iran joint border would bring prosperity and development in the region.
They also stressed the need to strengthen relations between the people of the two countries.
Other participants and speakers at the webinar were Asif Ali Khan Durrani, former Pakistani ambassador to Iran, Mir Mahmoud Mousavi, former Iranian ambassador to Pakistan and India, and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General of Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency – IRNA