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ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: Iran and Pakistan have called for immediate de-escalation of tension between Islamabad and Delhi in a joint communique issued at the conclusion of President Seyed Mohammad Khatami’s visit to Pakistan.

The two countries also called for peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, and stressed the need for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people.

The four-page joint communique, released on Wednesday, outlined the highlights of the Iranian president’s three-day state visit, essentially conveying Tehran’s desire for enhanced strategic cooperation with Islamabad.

The two sides underlined the importance of a gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan for economic development of the region and called for an early completion of the project.

The communique indicated the resolve on both sides to strengthen bilateral relations by enhancing cooperation in all fields, particularly political, defence, economic, commercial, cultural, science and technology. The two sides also called for increased interaction between parliament of Pakistan and the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran to promote mutual understanding on bilateral, regional and global issues.

The official talks that focused on bilateral, regional and global issues laid emphasis on enhancing cooperation between the two countries, said the communique.

While expressing satisfaction over the growing positive momentum in the friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran, the communique said, both sides agreed to enhance interaction through regular exchange of high-level visits.

President Khatami extended cordial invitations to President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali to visit Iran, said the communique.

Underlining that strengthening of peace and progress in Afghanistan was of importance for regional peace and stability, the two sides reaffirmed their respect for the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

Both sides also agreed on regular consultations and cooperation on the bilateral and trilateral basis with the Afghan government in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, combating terrorism and drug-trafficking as well as repatriation of refugees.

The importance of regional cooperation was stressed with both sides calling for active cooperation among regional countries within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Organization. They shared the view that ECO could play a valuable role in accelerating the progress and development of the entire region.

The two sides condemned the Israeli regime for its atrocities against the Palestinian people and expressed their support for the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent Palestinian state with Al Quds as its capital.

They expressed concern over the situation in Iraq and opposed any unilateral or preemptive military operation against it. They underlined the central role of the United Nations and called upon Iraq to respect and implement the Security Council resolutions.