Iran Seeks Pakistan’s Cooperation in Fighting Terrorism

A036930114.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Iran on Friday sought Pakistan’s cooperation in combating terrorism which threatened the stability of the entire region.

It is learnt that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a letter delivered to President Pervez Musharraf by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, said that Iran considered terrorism a problem of the entire Ummah (Muslim nation) and the region.

A source in the Iranian delegation which arrived in Islamabad on Friday said that since both Pakistan and Iran were victims of terrorism, President Ahmadinejad felt that the two should cooperate in facing the challenge.

The Iranian foreign minister also met Prime Minister Muhammadmian Soomro.

Mottaki condemned the assassination of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and said that the perpetrators who took her life had attacked the integrity and unity of Pakistan and they could not be friends of the people of the region.

He said he had come to offer condolences on behalf of the government and people of Iran to the Pakistani government, people and family members of the slain PPP leader. “The government and people of Iran share the grief and express complete solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan.”

Prime Minister Soomro said that terrorism was a serious threat to the entire region and all countries needed to work together to fight this menace.

He said that the nation was passing through a challenging time and Pakistan was grateful to all friendly countries for their support at this difficult time.

Soomro said his government and people were determined to fight the disturbing trends of extremism which endangered peace and harmony of society.

He said that Pakistan was committed to strengthening brotherly relations with Iran which were based on historical, religious, political and economic ties, and shared a common interest for peace and prosperity in the region.

He said that energy requirements of all countries were an upcoming challenge which required a focused attention to ensure future development and prosperity.

The entire region, he added, needed to develop an integrated approach to help meet energy needs of the countries in the region. “The gas pipeline project from Iran to Pakistan and beyond will greatly help meet the energy requirements of the region.”

Expressing satisfaction over the existing economic relations between the two countries, the Iranian foreign minister said that there were great prospects to further expand these ties. “The potential of trade and commercial linkages require a focused approach to explore possibilities.”

He expressed confidence that the Iran-Pakistan Joint Investment Company, established in 2006, would help enhance business and commercial ties. He said that the Iran-Pakistan Iran Joint Economic Council meeting next month would facilitate trade and economic relations between the two countries.

In his talks with his Pakistani counterpart Inam-ul-Haque, the Iranian minister discussed the progress on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both sides expressed keen interest in early progress towards the implementation stage.

Mottaki also briefed the Pakistani foreign minister on Iran’s negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and European countries on the nuclear issue.

He also visited the PPP’s central secretariat to convey condolences of the Iranian government and people to the party leadership and family members of Ms Bhutto.

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