PESHAWAR, Nov 17: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and Governor General of Iran’s Fars province Hussain Sadek Abbidien on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for bilateral cooperation in health, education, energy, mining, industry, irrigation, livestock, agriculture, tourism and information sectors.

The MoU was signed during a special function at the Chief Minister’s House, where Iranian Consul General in Peshawar Hassan Darvishvand, provincial ministers, legislators, senior officials and businessmen from both countries were in attendance.Under the MoU, the governments of the two provinces will cooperate with each other.

Mr Hoti told participants that Pakistan’s federating units had been granted greater autonomy in the wake of amendments to the Constitution under which the provinces could sign agreements with the regional governments of other countries.

“This MoU will provide foundation to strong bilateral relations between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fars,” he said, adding that the two governments would work together and share expertise in the 10 different sectors with a special focus on hydel power generation, mining, agriculture and tourism.

He said private sectors from both sides would play a lead role, especially in oil and gas.

The chief minister, who visited Fars last year, said the region was facing numerous challenges and no country could resolve these issues unilaterally. He said Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan could play a key role in resolving problems, while Pakistan always looked towards Iran at difficult times for help.

Governor General of Fars Abbidien said many countries were hatching conspiracies to divide Muslims in the world to stop them from making progress and therefore, Pakistan and Iran should work together to thwart these conspiracies.

He said Iran and Pakistan had suffered due to terrorism and for that reason, they should get together for counterterrorism.

According to MoU, the two governments will exchange knowledge, expertise, research in the field of primary, secondary and higher education besides organising training programmes, specialised workshops, seminars and symposia.

They will also cooperate in the field of health medical education, primary health care, including community-based initiatives, prevention and management of vector borne diseases like malaria, leishmaniasis and dengue, exchange of knowledge and relative expertise, visits of medical missions and facilitation of contacts between public and private sectors, especially establishment of joint technical working group.

Later, the Fars governor general along with 19-member delegation visited Peshawar Museum.

Also in the day, University of Peshawar and Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran signed a MoU for cooperation in education.

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