Iran, Pakistan to Hold Security Consultations

Iran, Pakistan to Hold Security ConsultationsIran, Pakistan to Hold Security Consultations

The interior minister announced a security meeting between Tehran and Islamabad will be held within three weeks in Tehran for developing intelligence, security and border cooperation.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli made the statement in a ceremony held on the occasion of Pakistan's Independence Day in Tehran on Tuesday.

"The two countries have arrived at a deeper common understanding about cooperation to boost security of the joint border," IRNA quoted Fazli as saying.

In order to tighten border security, the minister said promoting economic development of these regions is of strategic importance.

"Building new border crossings, increasing the capacity of border markets, preventing illegal entries, fighting narcotics, goods and human trafficking, in addition to engaging in close collaboration to combat terrorist groups and bandits are major areas for cooperation," he said.

The Iran-Pakistan border that runs over 900 km is a magnet for smugglers, criminal elements and terrorists.

While Tehran has invested a lot in shoring up its border controls, it says Islamabad has no effective presence on the other side of the border, which has resulted in a chronic security problem.

In recent years, various terrorist attacks on Iranian targets have been carried out by militant groups who cross the border from Pakistan to conduct operations and then retreat.

  Remarkable Gains

Pointing to the trip of President Hassan Rouhani to Pakistan in March, Fazli said strengthening ties with neighbors is a major principle of Iran's foreign policy.

"The visit of the president and his accompanying delegation was a display of harmonious relations between the two countries, which produced remarkable gains," he said.

During the two-day visit, the two countries pursued energy cooperation, with the Iranian president telling a meeting of the two countries' high-ranking delegations that Iran is ready to "undertake the security of energy supply to Pakistan".

The interior minister said the finalization of a roadmap for mutual cooperation for the next three years aimed at increasing bilateral trade to $5 billion has raised high hopes for a partnership between the two states.

Fazli said Iran is willing to engage in constructive interaction with Pakistan to address its economic and commercial needs, in exchange for providing Islamabad with its huge energy resources and modern technologies.

"During the 20th meeting of the Iran-Pakistan Commission on Economic Cooperation, which will be held in Tehran in July-August, I hope we will take giant steps along this path," he said.