Iran FM meets with Pakistan army chief

December 20, 2021 - 21:26

TEHRAN - Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met on Sunday with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as he continued his meetings with Pakistani officials on the sidelines of the OIC conference.

Amir Abdollahian visited Islamabad to attend the 17th emergency meeting of the Islamic Cooperation Organization's foreign ministers in Pakistan.

A political delegation accompanied the Iranian foreign minister during the trip.

The two discussed issues of mutual interest, the Iranian foreign ministry said.

Amir Abdollahian in the meeting referred to cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad in border areas and described the two countries’ border security as appropriate. He called for cooperation with Pakistan to increase border security.

The Iranian foreign minister said fighting terrorism is an area of cooperation between Iran and Pakistan.

He emphasized Iran’s readiness to export electricity and gas to Pakistan given the capacities of the two countries in various fields of cooperation.

Amir Abdollahian and General Bajwa spoke of the developments in Afghanistan too. The Iranian foreign minister said peace and security can only be restored to Afghanistan through the formation of an inclusive government representing all ethnic groups.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa also extended his greetings to the high-ranking officials of Iran and said the cooperation between the two countries is based on neighborliness and brotherhood. He described terrorism as a common enemy of Iran and Pakistan. General Bajwa stressed the need to activate a joint committee on border security given the need for boosting security along common borders as much as possible.

He also stressed the need for closer cooperation with Iran on Afghanistan, especially in the fight against terrorism.

The Iranian foreign minister also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday morning. In this meeting, the top Iranian diplomat congratulated Pakistan on holding the emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference’s member states. He stressed the need for cooperation between all Islamic countries in the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Amir Abdollahian added that the Islamic Republic of Iran, regardless of political issues in Afghanistan, has supported the sending of humanitarian aid to the country. He said for this purpose, Iran has kept its borders open and is ready to cooperate with all countries to deliver aid to the Afghan people.

The Iranian foreign minister said the only pathway to final peace and stability in Afghanistan is the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups. He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with Afghanistan's neighbors, regional countries and the UN to facilitate the establishment of a broad-based government in Afghanistan by Afghans themselves. Amir Abdollahian also spoke of bilateral issues between Iran and Pakistan, especially the issue of border cooperation.

The prime minister of Pakistan also emphasized the importance of Iran’s role in the region and in the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan. He supported the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and stressed the need to help the Afghan people in the current situation given that winter has arrived and Afghans lack fuel and food.

Considering the need to expand bilateral relations between Iran and Pakistan, Imran Khan also reviewed different areas of cooperation. He emphasized cross-border cooperation, especially cross-border trade, and formation and expansion of border markets.

Amir Abdollahian met several foreign officials during his stint in Islamabad. He met with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on the sidelines of the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Islamabad.

In this meeting, Amir Abdollahian underlined the need for expanding bilateral ties between the two countries, removing consulate obstacles and facilitating travels by citizens of the two countries. He also declared Tehran’s readiness to hold a meeting of the Iran-Kuwait joint commission as well as consular and border committees. Amir Abdollahian said ties between the two countries are based on brotherhood and neighborliness and extended him President Raisi’s greetings to the Kuwaiti emir.

The Kuwaiti foreign minister also extended the Kuwaiti emir’s greetings to the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president. Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Hammed Al-Sabah announced that consular and border committees of the two countries will be held soon.

He also spoke over regional developments and bilateral relations at the meeting and invited Amir Abdollahian to visit Kuwait.

Amir Abdollahian also met with the foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia.

During his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart, Amir Abdollahian reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Palestinian people and the liberation of Holy al-Quds and condemned the Zionist regime’s continued crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The OIC emergency meeting on Afghanistan was requested by Saudi Arabia and hosted by Pakistan which seeks to marshal support for the new government in Kabul. During his speech at the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister presented a number of proposals regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran submits the following proposals to this important meeting in support of the people of Afghanistan: First, Muslim states should encourage the ruling establishment in Afghanistan and all parties to form an inclusive government. Second, the people of Afghanistan are in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The formation of a financial fund among the Muslim states seems necessary to realize this objective. Third, it is also necessary to release Afghanistan’s assets. Fourth, undoubtedly, the UN member states and its Secretary General can play a leading role in contributing to the formation of an inclusive government and assisting the people of Afghanistan and preventing a new humanitarian catastrophe. We hope that an inclusive government will soon be formed in Afghanistan with the participation of all Afghan ethnic groups so that its representative will be able to attend the next OIC conference and Afghanistan’s seat won’t be vacant,” Amir Abdollahian said.
He also said that Iran considers sustainable security and political and social stability in Afghanistan to be in line with the collective interests of the entire region.