TEHRAN, Feb 5: President Pervez Musharraf on Monday held talks with Iranian leaders and proposed a plan of action aimed at bringing about unity in the ranks of Muslims and to address major issues confronting the Muslim world such as Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

He met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his one-day visit to the Islamic republic.

In his talks with President Ahmedinejad at the presidential complex in Tehran, President Musharraf said unity in the ranks of the Ummah would defuse tension between Iran and the US. Their formal talks lasted about 75 minutes followed by a one-to-one meeting.

Mr Ahmedinejad welcomed the plan of President Musharraf and assured him of all possible help for the success of the plan. Giving details of the talks, Pakistan's Ambassador to Iran Shafqat Saeed said bilateral matters between Pakistan and Iran, particularly the gas pipeline project, were also discussed.

The Iranian president expressed Iran’s willingness to initiate the implementation of the project immediately.

Since the two countries have worked out the pricing mechanism, Iran and Pakistan will soon discuss early implementation of the pipeline project.

Later, the Iranian President hosted a luncheon in the honour of the president and members of his delegation. After the lunch, President Musharraf, accompanied by President Ahmedinejad, met Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He briefed the Ayatollah on Pakistan's stance on problems being faced by the Muslim world. President Musharraf stressed the need for unity and cooperation among the Muslim states, saying it was key to restoration of peace and stability in the Middle East.

Voicing satisfaction over the agreement between Tehran and Islamabad on price coding for Iran's gas, President Musharraf expressed the hope that in near future, operations would be launched to lay the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Appreciating the purpose of President Musharraf’s visit, Ayatollah Khamenei said all political and economic capacities should be utilised to further expand ties between Iran and Pakistan given abundant cultural, historical and religious commonalties between the two countries. He said energy was the issue of the world at present and in future.

“Iran is rich in gas and ready to allow Muslim brotherly states, including Pakistan, to benefit from its reserves and facilities,” he said, referring to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project.

Describing unity as the most important need of the Muslim world, Ayatollah Khamenei said enemies of Muslim nations saw their interests in sowing discord among them.

He said the establishment of Zionist regime was an attempt by the camp of arrogant powers to sow discord within the Muslim world.

“Israel has thus far been the main factor behind discord among Muslim nations and will follow the same policy from now on.

“The US and the UK’s support for the Zionist regime has paved the way for continued crimes of this regime against the oppressed Palestinian nation. Any Middle East plan will be successful only when it prevents the US bullying and puts an end to Zionist crimes,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the key to Palestinian problem was taking realities of the region into consideration.

“Israel's weakness, well proved in the war on Lebanon, all Muslim nations’ hatred and resentment against Israel, resistance of the Palestinian nation and Hamas government against Zionists are all realities which would help forge deep understanding of the Palestinian problem and its settlement,” he said. He said a dangerous plan was being enforced in Iraq and certain other states and Muslim nations, through their unity and vigilance, should foil such conspiracies of the foreigners.—Agencies