Iran supports Peace, Security in Central Asia: Rowhani

January 19, 2003
TEHRAN -- Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hojjatoleslam Hassan Rowhani said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports peace and stability in Central Asia, IRNA reported..

In a meeting with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov, Rowhani said that Iran spares no effort to prevent outbreak of any hostility in Central Asia, adding that Iran sees security of the region interrelated to its own.

He said that the region must not be allowed to become the scene of military confrontation for the big powers, adding that the regional states are required to initiate collective cooperation to safeguard peace, security and economic development.

Rowhani said that the Iranian and Uzbek nations have longstanding cultural amity, noting that Iranian strategy in Central Asia focuses on fostering constructive cooperation with the regional states on the basis of mutual interests.

He said that security cooperation is the fundamental part of international cooperation, adding that it includes the international campaign against terrorism, organized crimes and drug trafficking.

Rowhani said that security in the entire region is prerequisite for economic development of all nations, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to develop security cooperation with Uzbekistan and other nations in Central Asia.

He welcomed the Uzbek government's willingness to develop transport cooperation with Iran and shipment of cargo from and to Iran's northern ports on the Caspian Sea.

Rowhani said that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has posed threats to the entire nations in the region and called for replacement of poppy cultivation with other crops in Afghanistan.

He said that the international community should display its resolve to put an end to poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and make financial contribution to that program.

Komilov said that Iran and Uzbekistan have deep and historical Relations, adding that the two countries hold common views about the regional issues.

He said that Tashkent is keen on developing bilateral, regional and international cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran He said that Uzbekistan is also willing to sign a security pact with Iran.

Komilov said that peace and security in Central Asia help the economic development and progress of the nations in the area, adding that the big powers should avoid competition in Central Asia.

He called for transport cooperation between the two countries and said that Iran-Uzbekistan cooperation will also serve economic development and stability in Afghanistan.