Malaysian Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin (L) meets President Hassan Rouhani in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 8.
Malaysian Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin (L) meets President Hassan Rouhani in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 8.

Closer Iran-Malaysia Ties Will Benefit Region

Iran and Malaysia have a heavy religious, moral and humanitarian responsibility to promote unity within the Muslim world

Closer Iran-Malaysia Ties Will Benefit Region

President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran is ready for stronger ties with the Malaysian government and parliament, as increased cooperation can help advance the interests of the two nations and Asia.

"Expansion of economic, cultural, scientific and parliamentary relations will benefit the two nations and the region," he said in a meeting with Malaysian Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, according to the president's official website.

Pointing to his Friday talks with Malaysian premier, Najib Razak, Rouhani said the two governments are determined to exploit potential to further bilateral collaboration. The president said the two parliaments can work to support the trend and help increase bilateral trade twofold, compared with its level before the tightening of anti-Iran nuclear-related sanctions in 2011 and 2012.

The sanctions were lifted this January, when a pact between Iran and world powers went into effect to put temporary restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.

Rouhani said the two countries can also coordinate efforts to help settle differences and promote unity among Muslims.

"We have a heavy religious, moral and humanitarian responsibility to promote unity in the Muslim world," he said.  The president said Tehran-Kuala Lumpur cooperation can also promote peaceful coexistence among followers of various faiths across the globe, as "there is no other way than to preach tolerance to support stability and security of countries".

Amin said the Malaysian Parliament backs wide-ranging relations with Iran.

"There are no obstacles to fostering Tehran-Kuala Lumpur ties," he said. "Banking cooperation between the two states can accelerate the process."

Rouhani arrived in Malaysia on Friday, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Cabinet members and other government officials.

It was the second leg of a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia he had embarked on Wednesday, where he signed an extradition treaty between Iran and Malaysia. Earlier in the trip, he had a two-day stay in Vietnam where he discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation with his Vietnamese counterpart, Tran Dai Quang.

Rouhani left Malaysia and entered Thailand on Saturday, the last stop on the presidential tour.

He was to meet Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to explore ways of strengthening bonds of friendship between the two governments.

While in Thailand, Rouhani will also attend the Second Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit and address the event, which takes place from Oct. 8-10.

The 34-member ACD, which was launched in June 2002 in Thailand in the presence of 18 Asian foreign ministers, is the first continent-wide forum in Asia.

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