Security of East, West Asia Interwoven

Tehran believes the most challenging crisis facing Asia is posed by extremism and violence that have swept the entire continent
President Hassan Rouhani (C) addressed the ACD summit in Bangkok on Oct. 10.President Hassan Rouhani (C) addressed the ACD summit in Bangkok on Oct. 10.

President Hassan Rouhani said there is an inextricable connection between the security situation in East and West Asia, citing foreign intervention as a main source of insecurity in both.

Rouhani made the statement on Monday, addressing the second summit of the inter-governmental organization of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which gathered 34 Asian leaders and senior officials in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, Press TV reported.

"The security of the continent's east is inseparable from that of its west," he said. "Meddling by foreign powers in both sides of the continent is a major threat to the security of all of us."

The president noted that the Islamic Republic believes that the most challenging crisis is posed by extremism and violence that have swept our entire continent, from Tokyo to New Delhi, and from Baghdad and Damascus to Istanbul.

Acts of militancy and terror have been a recurrent theme of daily life in a range of countries in the region including, but not limited to, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Rouhani said Iran has been a strong force in the regional battle against such militancy and terrorism.

  Bulwark Against Terrorism

"Today, Iran has been standing like a strong barrier against the infiltration and expansion of extremism and terrorism," he said.

The Islamic Republic has successfully withstood any spillover of regional violence and has contributed to the regional anti-terror fight through its advisory military assistance to the Iraqi and Syrian governments.

The president also urged regional countries to join hands to build a prosperous region.

"Asia's future belongs to our children and its progress hinges on a more dynamic and stable bond among the continent's nations," he said.

Rouhani pledged an active role on the part of Iran in the production chain, expansion of new markets and the consistent supply of energy following Tehran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

"Given the nuclear agreement and the removal of the imposed sanctions, the Iranian economy promises remarkable growth in the years to come," he said.

"Tehran has set a midterm goal of reaching an economic growth of 8%."

  Tolerance Should Trump Violence

The Iranian president, meanwhile, met his Sri Lankan counterpart, Maithripala Sirisena, on the sidelines of the ACD meeting.

Rouhani said that for the elimination of violence and extremism, "we have to invite all ethnic groups, tribes and religionists toward forbearance, tolerance and respectful dialogue. He referred to friendly bilateral ties between Iran and Sri Lanka, and expressed Iran's preparedness for expansion of relations.

Rouhani said Iranian firms are ready to participate in Sri Lanka's development projects.

The Sri Lankan president said he would be traveling to Iran in the near future with a mission to enhance mutual relations, especially in the fields of energy and agriculture.

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