Rouhani, Pakistani General Stress Need to Secure Shared Border

Rouhani, Pakistani General Stress Need to Secure Shared Border Rouhani, Pakistani General Stress Need to Secure Shared Border

President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met on Tuesday and stressed the need to ensure security along the shared border to help promote bilateral economic relations. 
"Fortunately, there have been positive developments in this regard and we are certain that with such determination on both sides, we can easily combat smugglers and criminals," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the presidential website. 
In an April meeting between Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tehran, the two countries agreed to form and station joint rapid-response forces in border areas to combat terrorism. 
Bajwa said the areas need to be "borders of peace and brotherhood" so that trade ties could develop through them. 
The two sides also called for cooperation to promote peace and security in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Rouhani highlighted the need to improve economic relations between Tehran and Islamabad, stressing that neither side should be satisfied with the current level of trade. 
"Better mechanisms need to be devised to boost trade and reach a favorable place by removing obstacles," he said. 
He expressed Iran's readiness to provide platforms so that companies and businesspeople from both countries can expand cooperation. 
The president also pointed out that Iran has extended the Peace Gas Pipeline up to Pakistan's border and is ready to continue cooperation to complete the project. 
The Iran-Pakistan gas project involves a 1,957-kilometer-long pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Iran's South Pars fields to Pakistan's two major cities, Karachi and Multan. 
Bajwa said Pakistan will use all its resources to improve economic ties with Iran and is ready to elevate the current level of cooperation. 
"Iran and Pakistan are neighboring and friendly countries and need to demonstrate their unity to the world," he said, adding that no country can damage Tehran-Islamabad relations. 
Pointing to current regional issues, Rouhani stressed that all neighboring countries must work together toward peace and stability. 
The Pakistani general regretted conflicts among Muslim countries, calling for joint attempts to maintain unity. 
Iran and Pakistan are both affected by instability in their neighboring state Afghanistan. 
Rouhani reiterated Iran's view on the Afghan crisis, saying it can only be addressed through the participation of all ethnic groups in the war-torn country without foreign intervention. 
"Without a doubt, the existence of American military bases has added to Afghanistan's problems," he said. 

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