TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that security is a common concern of Iran and Pakistan, underlining the need for both countries to cooperate in this regard.
The president made the remarks during a meeting in Tehran with visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Rouhani urged the necessity for further expansion of ties between the two countries in different areas, including economy and trade.
Referring to the US decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan, he said that the US military presence would not help the security and stability in the region and rather Iran and Pakistan, as the main neighbors of Afghanistan, have to play their role to guide the peace process in the country.
Rouhani also called for enforcement of already sig-ned agreements between T-ehran and Islamabad, voicing Iran’s readiness to supply Pakistan’s energy needs.
The Pakistani foreign minister, for his part, hailed the cordial relations between the two countries, calling for promotion of relations in all the areas.
Echoing Prime Minister Imran Khan for boosting bilateral relations with Iran, Qureshi expressed hope that Iran-Pakistan relations will witness a new chapter where they will have more special relations in different areas, the economy and trade in particular.
He hailed Iran’s support for Pakistan’s stances in different regional and international issues, and said that his country is supportive of a 2015 Iran nuclear deal – known as JCPOA.
Also, Pakistan and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for opening of six market places at borders areas of the two countries.
The MoU signing ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.
These six market places would be established at border between Balochis-tan province of Pakistan and Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
The foreign minister expressed the confidence that establishment of border markets would be beneficial for both countries.
It would go a long way in improving the economic conditions of the residents of border areas, he added.
The proposal for opening of border markets was given by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Iranian President Rouhani during his visit to Iran in 2019.
Later, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on Speaker of Iranian Parliament Muhammad Bagher Ghalibaf and highlighted rise of Islamophobia cases which imperiled future prospects of peace and harmony among civilizations.
During a meeting, the foreign minister appreciated Iran’s support to Pakistan’s initiative to counter Islamophobia.
It was agreed to move jointly on the issue of Islamophobia and preserving the respect of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), Foreign Office spokesperson in a press release said.
Highlighted excellent Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations, the foreign minister reiterated commitment to further strengthen fraternal ties.