Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Pakistan are determined to step up their cooperation and consultation in the fight against terrorism and on regional security.
During a press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, Rouhani said on Friday that the two countries are resolved not to allow extremist and terrorist groups threaten their shared border security.
The Iranian president said the two countries’ security is intertwined and interdependent, adding that more efforts are needed to boost security along Iran’s eastern and Pakistan’s western border.
He added that the two countries are “close to each other culturally,” and must also focus on cultural cooperation.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attends a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (unseen), Islamabad, Pakistan, March 25, 2016. (Photo by president.ir)
Rouhani said issues of mutual interest, the economic sector and potentialities that exist for the development of economic relations, including in the energy issue, gas as well as electricity exports were discussed during the meeting with the Pakistani premier.
The two countries also held talks for the expansion of trade cooperation in light of the facilitation of regulations like preferential trade tariffs by paving the ground for free trade between the two countries, he added.
Establishing new border markets and forging closer relations between the two important Iranian and Pakistani ports of Chabahar and Gwadar were also discussed during the meeting, Rouhani said.
Also during the press conference, Sharif pointed to the “cordial and fraternal ties” between the two countries, adding that the latest meeting was the third in less than three years, reflecting the warmth and depth of bilateral relations.
He said regional and mutual ties were discussed during talks with Rouhani, adding that the two presidents expressed resolve to develop ties in various fields and signed several memorandums of understanding in many sectors.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (L) and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hold talks in Islamabad on March 25, 2016. © AFP
Rouhani and Sharif held one-on-one talks at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad on Friday.
Immediately after the meeting between Rouhani and Sharif, high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani delegations started talks. At the end of the round of talks, the sides signed six documents for cooperation in different fields of trade and commerce, insurance, culture, academy, health and medicine.
Following the press conference, the Iranian president attended a dinner banquet hosted by the Pakistani premier. Rouhani plans to hold separate meeting with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Saturday.
The Iranian president arrived in Pakistan on Friday on his first landmark visit since the implementation of a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of six countries.
Rouhani is heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, including 60 Iranian businessmen, during his two-day official visit to Islamabad.
The trip is aimed at discussing ways to further strengthen trade and economic relations and holding consultation with senior Pakistani officials on the latest developments in the region.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for Islamabad, President Rouhani said Iran’s relations with Pakistan, with its great people and religious, historical and cultural commonalities, are strategic and important.
The Pakistani prime minister visited Tehran on January 19.