TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted Tehran’s willingness to maintain close ties with all regional countries, calling for collective efforts to ensure peace and relieve tensions in the region.
In a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, held in Tehran on Sunday evening, Rouhani said Iran is willing to have close relations with all regional countries, adding, “We believe that division in the Islamic community is not beneficial to anyone and we completely welcome Pakistan’s efforts for promoting regional peace and stability in this regard.”
The president also referred to the fragile conditions of the region, saying, “In the current conditions, we must all cooperate with each other to establish peace and stability and ease tensions.”
Rouhani also emphasized that war and tensions in the region could be very dangerous, stating, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, while fully prepared to defend its own interests, has never sought to ignite a war in the region, so the operation against the American base was in fact a response to America’s criminal act.”
“Today, we must all believe that dialogue and close cooperation among Muslim nations and governments in the region are for everyone’s benefit and that they will suffer from any kind of division, conflict and war,” the president’s official website quoted him as saying.
Highlighting the importance of closer relations between Tehran and Islamabad, the president added, “The Iran-Pakistan borders should be borders of peace and friendship and we must not allow some groups to make our borders insecure.”
Iran is fully prepared to develop close relations with Pakistan in all fields, Rouhani underlined, adding, “Relations with Pakistan are very important for Iran and we attach great importance to the development of relations with this country.”
The president went on to appreciate the Pakistani government’s sympathy for the martyrdom of Iranian commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the US, as well as the recent crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane, saying, “The two tragedies that occurred were not specific to Iran and other countries share the sadness.”
“The US and White House leaders, as well as the Zionist regime, along with the world’s top terrorist outfits, including Daesh (ISIL), were among the two groups that were happy with the assassination of Gen. Soleimani, while the people seeking peace and stability in the region were sad about it,” he said.
“We expect all countries to strongly condemn US state terrorism,” Rouhani underlined.
For his part, Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed condolences on the martyrdom of Lt. General Soleimani and the crash of the jetliner, saying, “The assassination of martyr Soleimani was very unexpected and shocking.”
Stressing that his country would not allow its territory to be used for posing a threat to other countries, especially Iran, the Pakistani foreign minister said, “Pakistan considers itself a partner of peace and stability for the Islamic Republic of Iran and does not want to be a partner to the conflict that harms the region and especially Iran.”
“We believe that the borders of Pakistan and Iran are the borders of peace and friendship and should remain the same and we are determined to confront the saboteurs who are trying to harm this.”