Chabahar-Gwadar connectivity to strengthen regional cooperation

SLAMABAD: A group of diplomats and foreign relations experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, stressing the use of capacities of regional economic organizations to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations said cooperation between Iran’s Chabahar and Pakistan’s Gwadar ports would enhance ties between the two states.

They expressed the views during a Webinar on the “Iran-Pakistan Economic Partnership in the Post-Corona era” hosted by Golden Ring Economic Federation (GREF) in Lahore with the cooperation of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran here Saturday.

“Mashallah Shakeri”, Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran and former Ambassador to Pakistan, and “Masoud Mohammad Zamani,” Senior Expert from Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), gave a wide view of bilateral cooperation between the two neighboring countries through video link.

Other speakers at the webinar were Hasanin Reza Mirza, director of the Golden Ring Economic Research Institute, Defence Analyst Lieutenant General (Retd) Sikander Afzal, Aref Kamal, and Sanaullah former Pakistani ambassadors, and Qandil Abbas, Professor of international relations at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.

The participants in the meeting explained the important and key policies of the two countries, especially in the geopolitical scenario in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, the developments of the subcontinent, and their impact on security and economic stability in the region.

Emphasizing the Islamic Republic’s effective vision for the development of economic relations with Pakistan, China, and Russia, Iranian experts pointed to obstacles in Tehran-Islamabad cooperation and said Iran has a principled policy on regional cooperation and strengthening of relations with neighbors.

Noting a delay on completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project from Pakistani side they said Iran is ready to export gas to the neighboring country.

The Iranian diplomats considered the development of cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries as a key factor in the expansion of Iran-Pakistan relations and said that linking the ports of Chabahar and Gwadar will pave the way for regional cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

They called for the use of the capacity of regional economic cooperation organizations, including ECO, and said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Iranian speakers stressed the need for a better understating between the high-ranking officials of the two friendly countries to protect their interests and jointly fight against the conspiracies of the common enemies.

Pakistani experts stressed the importance of Iran’s joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project saying that it would strengthen long-term cooperation between Tehran and Beijing.

They praised Iran’s resilience to harsh US sanctions and stressed the importance of advancing energy projects in the region, including the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project with China, to avoid the US pressure and sanctions.

The Pakistani speakers called for the establishment of a joint working group with the participation of the two countries’ private sectors to find ways of development, the establishment of excellent joint centers for advanced research and development, and the acceleration of exchange programs between Iran and Pakistan.

Participants in the webinar noted to develop and expand public relations between the two countries, especially in the fields of culture and tourism. They also praised the principled positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan in support of the Palestinian people following the diplomatic deal between the UAE and the Zionist regime.

The Iranian speakers also appreciated the recent remarks of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in support of the Palestinian people against the Zionist regime. The concept of the Golden Ring Economic Bloc was initiated in 2010 based on which the Golden Ring Economic Forum (GREF) was established in 2015.

The members include businessmen/industries, ex-servicemen, former diplomats, and scholars/experts in the field. The Geographical area of interest is China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey.

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