Rouhani: Sponsors Cannot Combat Terrorism

Rouhani: Sponsors Cannot Combat TerrorismRouhani: Sponsors Cannot Combat Terrorism

President Hassan Rouhani said the western-backed coalitions formed purportedly to fight terrorism are incapable of playing a role in promotion stability and security in the region.

"Countries, which have supported terrorist groups such as Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, by providing] money and arms for many years and are still helping them, cannot claim to be combating terrorism," Rouhani said in a meeting with Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Tehran on Monday, Press TV reported.  Rouhani stressed the importance of enhancing security in the region and in the Muslim world and urged all countries to make efforts to uproot terrorism and restore lasting regional security. He stated that Iran and Pakistan had many common interests and urged the two countries to reinforce relations in all fields and increase bilateral trade to $5 billion per year.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by the Pakistani people over the past 70 years and expansion of ties and interactions between the two countries' officials and representatives can undoubtedly be effective in developing mutual relations," he said.

The Iranian president expressed Iran's readiness to completely meet Pakistan's energy needs and hoped that Islamabad would take steps to complete a pipeline project for the export of Iran's gas to the country, which has been stalled for years.  The project is geared to transfer natural gas from Iran's energy hub of the South Pars Gas Field to Pakistan. Iran has already established its segment of the pipeline up to the border with its eastern neighbor.

However, Pakistan has failed to construct its share of the pipeline due to a lack of funds.  

Rouhani urged the establishment of land and rail transit routes between the two neighboring countries, saying the Iranian port city of Chabahar and Pakistan's southeastern port of Gwadar have the potential to bring about positive developments in the region. The Pakistani speaker said his country needed to use Iran's capacities in the energy sector, particularly for the transfer of gas, and also expressed Islamabad's readiness to complete the pipeline project.

Sadiq warned of the spread of terrorist groups, particularly Taliban and Daesh, in the region and urged collective cooperation to counter them.

"Peace and stability in the region would be beneficial for all countries," he said.

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