Iran’s president calls for ‘secure border markets’ in meeting with Pakistani army chief


Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday emphasized developing “secure” border markets with Pakistan and bolstering energy cooperation with the neighboring country.

He made the remarks in a meeting with the Pakistani army chief Gen. Asim Munir in Tehran, underscoring that both countries are committed to expanding bilateral ties.

The top Pakistani military commander met Raisi and other senior Iranian political and military officials during his two-day “successful” visit to Iran.

Iran’s president told the visiting official that expediting the implementation of bilateral agreements can help boost economic cooperation between the two countries, emphasizing turning borders into economic zones, state media cited his office as saying.

He also referred to “attempts by enemies” to “disrupt relations” between countries in the region, while calling for strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation by using existing opportunities and mutual capacities.

For his part, the Pakistani army chief called for bolstering economic, commercial, and trade exchanges with Iran, which he said can help in building a “secure neighborhood.”

Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff, in a statement, said the two sides agreed on boosting bilateral cooperation, adding that the Pakistani military official in his meeting with Raisi expressed “commitment to cooperate with Iran’s policy of providing security and economization of the common borders.”

Earlier on Sunday, Gen. Munir also held talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the ministry said in a statement.

Iran’s top diplomat “appreciated the positive and constructive role” of Pakistani officials in “border security cooperation and combating terrorism,” and stressed the need to “transform borders into economically prosperous borders and expand border markets.”

The visiting Pakistani official also met top-ranking Iranian military officials, including the chief of staff of Iranian armed forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Gen. Hossein Salami, and Iranian army chief Abdolrahim Mousavi.

Maj. Gen. Baqeri, in his meeting with the Pakistani official, said the two sides must “expand military cooperation” while referring to the enhancement of cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad in different fields.

A statement by the Pakistani military’s media wing said the two commanders pledged to eradicate “terrorism in border areas” and agreed that terrorism is a “common threat to the region in general and both countries in particular.”

The visit came a week after two Iranian policemen were killed in an attack on a police station in the southeastern city of Zahedan, which borders Pakistan.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Adl group, which has been behind many such attacks targeting security forces in the Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Pakistan strongly condemned the attack.

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