0809 GMT January 20, 2022
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi underlined the importance of expanding bilateral relations and cooperation in separate meetings with his Tajik, Turkmen, Turkish, Pakistani and Uzbek counterparts.
The meetings were held on Saturday and Sunday on the sidelines of the 15th Summit of Heads of Member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO Summit) in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat, president.ir reported.
In his Sunday morning meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Raeisi stressed that ties between Tehran and Dushanbe are being constantly boosted, adding the two sides will continue to strongly develop their already very good relations in the fields of trade, culture and economy.
Expressing delight at meeting the Tajik president again after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in the Turkmen capital in September, he said as Iran’s president, Tajikistan was the destination of his first foreign visit, which led to a major transformation in the two countries’ ties.
The previous meeting, Raeisi added, was very valuable and effective as it caused a significant difference in the level of bilateral relations, which will be in the interest of the entire region.
He said, “We have no doubt that the present level of ties is not satisfactory. By reviving the two sides’ capacities, we can raise the level significantly.”
Inviting his Tajik counterpart to visit Tehran, Raeisi noted that in view of their deep cultural ties, common language and longstanding friendship, Iran and Tajikistan should enhance their cooperation and hold more consultations.
On the situation in Afghanistan, the Iranian president said, “Our stance toward Afghanistan is quite clear. The Islamic Republic welcomes the formation of a truly inclusive government in Afghanistan, which would represent all ethnic and political Afghan groups.”
Raeisi added the Americans were present in Afghanistan for two decades and left Afghans no inheritance but murder and plunder, noting that Iran is honorably hosting close to four million Afghans and hopes that the people of its eastern neighbor would be able to decide about their future.
Describing Daesh as a terrorist group, the Iranian president said the ring is compromising the region’s security and has been formed by the United States.
The Tajik president also said all Afghan groups must be represented in the country’s government.
Rahmon added since insecurity in Afghanistan will harm the entire region as well as the neighboring countries, “We are concerned about the future of the country”.
He said after his previous meeting with Raeisi, the level of bilateral relations has risen, giving the assurance that trade ties will multiply in the future.
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi (L) speaks to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a meeting in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on November 28, 2021.
In his Sunday meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Raeisi said the two countries’ capacities for boosting economic ties and trade transactions are far greater than their current level of relations.
He added Iran and Turkey can further move toward developing strategic economic and political ties by raising the level of their present trade exchanges.
Listing the potential and diverse sectors for cooperation as energy, banking and finance as well as trade, Reisi said the path to boosting economic ties must become smooth.
The president described as important close cooperation and relations between Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan, adding the three states have numerous cultural and religious commonalities and must disappoint their common enemies through further improvement of their ties.
Turning to Afghanistan and Daesh’s presence in the country, Raeisi said the terrorist groups not only threaten Afghanistan’s security, but also that of the entire region.
Commenting on the situation in Syria, the Iranian president stressed, “We must use our capacities to ensure peace and security in the country.”
He emphasized that regional problems must be resolved by the countries of the region, noting that foreigners’ presence and interference will only complicate the situation.
Shifting to Iraq, Raeisi said the Islamic Republic stresses the need to ensure stability in the Arab state and respects its territorial integrity.
He added Iran supports the coming into power of a strong government in Iraq, which is approved of by the country’s people.
The Turkish president said Ankara deems necessary the development of bilateral and regional cooperation with Tehran, adding the two sides can help the level of their relations, particularly to take a leap in the economic sector.
Expressing concern over developments in Afghanistan, Erdoğan added the White House has trained all terrorist groups active in the region, is supplying arms to them, and is providing them with terror equipment to cause insecurity.
Therefore, he said, collective cooperation is necessary for ensuring peace in the region.
Erdoğan noted that Iran, Russia and Turkey can, hand in hand with other regional states, ensure security and stability in the region.
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets with his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi (L) in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on November 28, 2021.
In the meeting With Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Sunday, Raeisi said Tehran is determined to develop and deepen all-out ties with Islamabad.
Pointing to the two sides’ commonalities and numerous capacities for cooperation, he added Iran and Pakistan are not only neighbors, but also have a deep and friendly historical and cultural connection.
Using these capacities to boost bilateral ties is in the interest of the two countries and the entire region, the Iranian president said.
Raeisi described as unsatisfactory the current level of bilateral relations in view of the numerous fields and capacities for cooperation, giving the assurance that Iran is seriously determined to activate all such capacities.
He emphasized that the Islamic Republic sees no limit to expanding its relations with Pakistan, listing as some of the fields for cooperation development of border markets, transit, transportation, energy and tourism.
The Pakistani president said his country seeks to develop economic relations with Iran, adding Islamabad attaches great importance to raising the level of ties and cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
Alvi voiced Pakistan’s readiness to multiply the value of trade exchanges with Iran.
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi (L) meets with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on November 27, 2021.
In addition, Raeisi met with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow upon arrival in Ashgabat on Saturday.
The two presidents discussed, inter alia, ways to elevate the level of bilateral trade ties.
Iran’s President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi (L) addresses a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on November 28, 2021.
On Sunday, Raeisi also met with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
He said the Islamic Republic is willing to improve the level of relations and cooperation with Uzbekistan in all fields, including those of economy, transportation, energy and fighting terrorism.
Raeisi added the regional countries’ capacities provide them with a favorable opportunity to deepen relations, stressing that under the world’s present circumstances, increased collaborations among regional states will help turn many threats into opportunities.
The regional states’ active presence will leave no room for interference by foreigners, the Iranian president noted.
The Uzbek president hailed Iran’s active regional approach, saying peace and stability in the region will be ensured by the countries within it.
Mirziyoyev added his country welcomes any kind of cooperation with Iran.
Also on Sunday, Raeisi met with Iranian businessmen and those working in the private sector in Ashgabat.
Referring to talks with his Turkmen counterpart on the development of bilateral relations in various sectors, including gas and transit, he said, “Today, with follow-up efforts, Turkmenistan is confident that the government of the Islamic Republic has a serious will to address the existing problems and obstacles.”
“The gas agreement between Iran and Turkmenistan will definitely be revived,” he pledged.
Raeisi emphasized that there is no serious problem in the path of boosting ties with the neighboring and regional countries, underlining the need for bilateral interaction and mutual understanding.