Summit meeting held in Tehran Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan agree to boost cooperation
TEHRAN: Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan agreed on Friday to expand and strengthen trilateral cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region.
This was agreed during a meeting between Presidents Asif Ali Zardari, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamid Karzai.
The three leaders agreed that terrorism was a big hurdle to regional development, which must be tackled and eliminated through enhanced cooperation and that trade and economic activities should be promoted within the region.
They also expressed their resolve to find indigenous solution of regional problems.
A statement posted on the website of Iranian Presidency said the three “expressed concern over a rising lack of security… and insisted on the need for cooperation to combat these phenomena”.
“The Afghan people want the departure of foreign forces, and therefore Iran and Pakistan can play an important role in establishing a durable peace in Afghanistan,” the website quoted President Karzai as saying.
Mr Ahmadinejad agreed that all three nations must “cooperate closely on security matters,” it said.
President Zardari was quoted as saying that Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan must boost ties and cooperation because all three countries “are the main victims of terrorism and war”.
Earlier at a separate meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, agreed to make collective efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism and pledged to continue working together for peace and stability in the region.
They also expressed the resolve to enhance coordination for countering narcotics and human trafficking.
The two leaders discussed bilateral, regional and international issues during the meeting, which was also attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran and the president’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari was also present.
Ways and means to enhance the existing cooperation in various areas with particular focus on the promotion of trade and investment and rail and road links between the two countries, the early realization of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and other matters of regional connectivity were discussed during the meeting.
The Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan were in Tehran for a three-way summit with their Iranian counterpart and to attend an anti-terrorism conference to be held on Saturday, IRNA news agency reported.
The meeting on Saturday will be attended, among others, by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Iranian media reported.
Other nations will also attend the conference as observers.