TEHRAN (Dispatches) – President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday announced Iran’s willingness to work with Pakistan on brining peace to neighboring Afghanistan.
"Iran and Pakistan, as the most important and influential neighbors of Afghanistan, need to play a role in managing the peace process in that country through interaction and cooperation,” he told Pakistan FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi here.
Rouhani touched on the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, saying the American military presence in the region has not helped security and peace in the region.
The president also said border security is a common concern of Iran and Pakistan that should be addressed with mutual cooperation.
Rouhani further called for efforts to implement previous agreements signed between the two countries, saying Iran is ready to meet Pakistan’s demand for energy.
For his part, the visiting Pakistani minister hailed unique, valuable and brotherly ties with Iran and called for their expansion.
He echoed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for further promotion of ties with Iran, expressing hope that in the near future, bilateral relations will enter a new phase and "we will witness new openings in the development of relations between the two countries, especially in the fields of trade and economy.”
Qureshi also expressed appreciation on behalf of the Pakistani leadership to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for consistently supporting the cause of the Kashmiri Muslims.
He discussed with President Rouhani the ways to strengthen already close bilateral relations rooted in common history, culture, religion and language. He said Prime Minister Khan envisions strengthening ties with Iran in diverse fields with emphasis on expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development.
Rouhani also reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to deepen relations with Pakistan in trade, investment, connectivity and border management.
Qureshi separately met with Parliament speaker Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf and apprised him of recent initiatives to establish border marketplaces.
The foreign minister recalled the invitation already extended to Qalibaf by his Pakistani counterpart to visit Pakistan, expressing hope that the trip would further strengthen parliamentary cooperation between Pakistan and Iran.
Qureshi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday on a three-day official visit for talks on mutual relations and the latest regional security issues with senior Iranian officials.
His visit is taking place at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart Muhammad Javad Zarif, and includes a pilgrimage tour of the holy city of Mashhad.