TEHRAN – An Iranian deputy foreign minister has called on the regional countries to focus on their cultural commonalities to enhance cooperation and connectivity across the region.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Rasoul Mohajer delivered a speech to the International Conference on Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities, held in Uzbekistan on Friday.
In his remarks, Mohajer said countries should recreate cultural and civilizational commonalities as a valuable legacy at the political, economic-commercial and cultural-human levels in order to enhance connectivity in the region.
The intra-regional trade, expansion of transportation and development of transportation infrastructure are elements that help the development of regional countries, the Iranian diplomat noted.
Mohajer also touched on Iran’s advantages in connecting Central and South Asia regions, saying the steps taken by Iran include cooperation with landlocked countries and transit countries in the region, such as Pakistan and Turkey, as part of the transportation corridor of the Economic Cooperation Organization.
Iran is also seeing to strengthening multi-dimensional transportation in the region and equipping the Chabahar and Bandar Abbas port cities in the south and Amirabad and Caspian port cities along the Caspian Sea.
The country is designing and implementing national and international projects to create rail links with neighboring countries including the Khaf-Herat project, which, after being linked to Mazar-i-Sharif, will connect central Asian countries to Iran’s railway network, and through Iran, to regional and global destinations.
It is further seriously examining mechanisms for cooperation between major port cities, such as Chabahar, and other major port cities along the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.
Iran is also in serious pursuit of launching the north-south, TRACECA and Persian Gulf-Black Sea corridors as well as the Rasht-Astara-Azerbaijan Republic
and Shalamcheh-Basra rail links.
The country is examining the establishment of a trade-transportation corridor between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union to facilitate trade among the five members of the union and Iran within the framework of a free trade agreement, which is being negotiated.
The one-day International Conference on Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities, an initiative of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was held in the Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent with the presence of officials from 44 countries and 30 international organizations.