CHIEF of Army Staff General Asim Munir meets Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, on Sunday.—PPI
CHIEF of Army Staff General Asim Munir meets Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, on Sunday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Syed Asim Munir met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other leaders on Sunday, with the two sides stressing the need to boost cooperation at the shared borders and combat terrorist groups.

The two countries made “good agreements” to increase border security, Gen Munir said as he concluded his two-day visit to Iran on Sunday, expressing Pakistan’s resolve to accelerate these measures to materialise sustainable security, Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency and semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

He stressed the importance of the agreements reached with Iranian officials during the trip, hoping that the people of both countries would see the effects of this cooperation as soon as possible.

Gen Munir’s meetings with the Iranian president and foreign minister came a day after he met Iran’s top military leadership, including the chief of general staff of armed forces, Maj Gen Mohammad Bagheri.

President Raisi stresses need to transform borders into safe economic zones

“Military commanders on both sides agreed that terrorism was a common threat to the region in general and both countries in particular,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday.

“They vowed to eradicate the menace of terrorism in the border areas through intelligence sharing and effective actions against the terrorists’ networks and explore avenues for enhancing cooperation in the security domain,” it added.

In Sunday’s meeting, Mr Raisi said Iran’s strategy was to transform security borders into safe economic borders and develop border markets and cooperation in the energy sector, Mehr News Agency said.

He said that strengthening relations with “neighbouring, aligned and Muslim countries is one of the priorities of the foreign policy of Iran”.

“Accelerating the implementation of bilateral agreements will further enhance economic and commercial cooperation between Iran and Pakistan and, as a result, improve the level of political relations between the two neighbours,” the news agency quoted Mr Raisi as saying.

Referring to the enemies’ efforts to disrupt the relations between regional countries, he said bilateral and regional cooperation should be strengthened using existing opportunities and exchanging mutual capacities.

Gen Munir praised Iran’s policy of strengthening relations with its neighbours, especially Pakistan, and considered it “a very valuable opportunity for the Islamic world”, Mehr reported.

In a separate meeting, Gen Munir and the Iranian foreign minister stressed on boosting cooperation at the shared borders and combating terrorist groups.

Stressing the new dynamics prevailing in the region, Mr Amir-Abdollahian expressed the hope that the two countries, by adopting a strategic approach to the Islamic world issues, take greater steps in deepening their bilateral relations, the news agency said.

Gen Munir referred to the religious, cultural and historical commonalities between the two countries, adding that “Pakistan is pleased to have a neighbour like Iran and welcomes the expansion of relations in all areas”.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed expanding economic relations, the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity exports.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2023

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