Tehran, Bishkek Sign MoUs to Jump-Start Coop.

Tehran, Bishkek Sign MoUs to Jump-Start Coop. Tehran, Bishkek Sign MoUs to Jump-Start Coop.

President Hassan Rouhani held talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev, who arrived in Tehran on Friday at the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation.  

Iran and Kyrgyzstan singed eight memorandums of understanding on collaboration in areas including agriculture, repatriation of convicts, the media, energy, air transportation, commerce and consular cooperation during a Saturday meeting between the top-level delegations of the two sides attended by the presidents, IRNA reported.

Addressing a joint press conference with the Kyrgyz president after the meeting, Rouhani said, "The two states have mutual grounds to expand their cooperation, on which a 10-year plan as well as short-term initiatives are due to be devised so that the two countries can enhance their relations."

"Drawing on the capabilities of its engineering and private sectors, Iran has accomplished considerable objectives in developing infrastructures, including transportation, industry, energy and medicine," the president said, noting, "Iran is keen to transfer its technical know-how to and broaden its relations with regional countries."

Praising Kyrgyzstan's attitude toward national independence as evidenced by shutting down Transit Center at Manas, a former US military installation in the Central Asian country, the head of the "hope and prudence" administration reiterated that Iran's permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can help serve the interests of the two sides.

Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are the six permanent members of the SCO. Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia have observer status in the organization.

Underscoring Kyrgyzstan's geographical location, Rouhani stressed that the country needs to be connected to international waters to boost its economy and Iran's southern ports, including Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, can link the Central Asia to the high seas.

On the critical issue of extremism, Rouhani stated, "To eradicate extremist groups and counter their violence, we need to have closer intelligence, political and security cooperation."

***Beneficial Membership  

Congratulating Iran on its success to secure its right to enrich uranium and win significant sanctions relief under the recent nuclear deal with major powers, Atambayev said, "We are willing to expedite promotion of our cooperation with Iran through increased [meetings of] joint commissions. Moreover, it is our firm belief that Iran's permanent membership in the SCO will be of great benefit to all regional states."

Highlighting the risks of the decision to close the US military installation, the Kyrgyz president emphasized, "Our national independence exceeds all other issues in importance."

Rouhani and Atambayev believe terrorism cannot be defeated unless the true face of Islam is introduced to the people of the world.