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Iranian President, Hasan Rouhani has said that Pakistan and Iran must strengthen cooperation for the sake of regional peace and stability. He made these remarks while meeting Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khawaja Asif who arrived in Tehran for a one-day visit on Monday.

Khawaja Asif said that both countries must cooperate for peace and stability in the region and reiterated the futility of a military solution in Afghanistan

Rouhani while lambasting the interference of foreign powers in regional affairs said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that only regional countries, particularly Iran and Pakistan, must endeavor and cooperate to establish regional security, stability, and peace.”

Rouhani reaffirmed his distaste for outside influence in the region especially that of the US. Iran had rejected Trump’s Afghan policy last month while taking the same line that the US has destabilized the region with its subversive activities in the region.

Read more: Iran joins China, Russia and Pakistan in rejecting Trump’s Afghan policy

Rouhani, who is deemed as a moderate reformist batted for Pakistan’s long-held view that there is no military solution to the Afghan saga. He said that the country needs a political settlement sans the damaging intervention of foreign forces.

Geopolitical alliances have made India grow closer to Israel and the US, both of these countries are perpetual enemies of Iran

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with regional countries, including Pakistan, in the fight against terrorism and development of peace, stability, and security in the region,” Rouhani stressed while hailing the growing collaboration between the two countries.

He further called for extending cooperation to counter the menace of terrorism. He said: “Promoting security along the borders and turning them into economic and trade frontiers as well as establishing border markets in these areas will be beneficial to the two nations and be in line with stability and security of the region.”

Read more: Will an assertive Iran turn out to be Trump’s greatest challenge?

However, the President was unhappy with the fact that ties between the two countries have not been as healthy as they should have been. Relations received a slight setback when Iran felt that Pakistan was taking sides in the Saudi-Iran tiff, something which Pakistan clarified.

Iran had rejected Trump’s Afghan policy last month while taking the same line that the US has destabilized the region with its subversive activities in the region

Rouhani called for immediate implementation of bilateral agreements. “Iran and Pakistan are two friendly, brotherly, and effective countries of the region,” said Rouhani. “Tehran is determined to expand economic, cultural, and political relations with Islamabad,” he added.

Pakistan can look to take advantage of Iran’s growing animosity with the US and also the possible fissures in Indo-Iranian ties. Geopolitical alliances have made India grow closer to Israel and the US, both of these countries are perpetual enemies of Iran. With both seeing eye to eye in Afghanistan, the two countries have a window to do away with little elements of mistrust.

Read more: Modi revisits Iran ties

Khawaja Asif said that both countries must cooperate for peace and stability in the region and reiterated the futility of a military solution in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Asif met with his Iranian counterpart, Javed Zarif and discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

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