Speaking during a meeting with his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe on Saturday, Raeisi stressed that Iran and Tajikistan enjoy good capacities to expand bilateral ties.
“Deepening and strengthening bilateral bonds and interactions will also serve as a ground for enhancing the level of regional cooperation between the two states,” he said.
“Through regular meetings and bilateral talks, Iranian and Tajik officials should establish stable and comprehensive relations between the two Persian-speaking countries, which become a model at the regional level.”
Raeisi’s visit to Dushanbe culminated in Iran being accepted Friday as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after waiting for years as an observer at the Eurasian political, economic and security alliance.
The accession marks President Raeisi’s first achievement in new office, coming on his visit to a country which opposed Iran’s SCO membership in the past.
Rahmon thanked Raeisi for accepting his invitation and making his first foreign visit as Iran’s president to Tajikistan.
Referring to joint projects implemented by Iranian experts in Tajikistan, he said, “The friendship and love that exist between the two countries’ people and governments provide a proper ground for enhancing the level of cooperation and relations.”
During the meeting, the two sides pointed to their nations’ common religion, culture and language and expressed hope that the endeavors of Iranian and Tajik officials will mark a new chapter in economic, cultural and political cooperation.
After the meeting, the Iranian and Tajik delegations signed six memorandums of understanding (MOUs), an agreement and a technical protocol on customs cooperation.
Common views on Afghanistan
In a press conference with his Tajik counterpart, the Iranian president said that the agreements “attest to the serious will of the two countries to develop relations”.
He also emphasized that relations with Tajikistan are one of the priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.
“I hope that this trip will open a new chapter in relationship with Tajikistan and that we will see the development of cultural, tourism and scientific ties between the two countries, along with economic and trade relations,” he added.
Raeisi further noted that Iran and Tajikistan have similar views on Afghanistan, saying, “We believe that foreign interference in Afghanistan has caused many disasters and that the hands of foreigners should be cut off from the country. The foreigners neither established, nor promoted security. They were also not able to solve problems of the Afghan nation.”
“The issue of Afghanistan must be resolved by the people of the country and with the cooperation of neighboring countries that are interested in Afghanistan… Intra-Afghan talks should be facilitated. The government that will be formed in Afghanistan must be inclusive,” he went on to say.
“The Americans, who formed Daesh, went to Afghanistan following evil acts in Syria and Iraq. The presence of Daesh in Afghanistan is dangerous not only for Afghanistan but also for the region… We are opposed to the presence of any current that sets the stage for the growth of terrorist currents in Afghanistan. We do not accept that a terrorist current and Daesh reside along our border and damage countries, the region and Afghanistan.”