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Iran and Pakistan agree to boost cooperation, form joint border force

Christian Fernsby |
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran and Pakistan have agreed to enhance security cooperation and to form a joint force for the security of common borders.

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Rouhani made the remarks following a meeting with the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday.

"We agreed to step up security cooperation between the two countries and to form a joint rapid reaction force on the shared borders to fight terrorism," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the state TV.

His meeting with Khan marked a new milestone in mutual ties, Rouhani said, adding that Iran and Pakistan would continue to maintain their close ties despite pressures from outside.

"Both sides agree that no third country whatsoever can affect the friendly and brotherly ties between Iran and Pakistan," he said.

On Monday meeting, they also agreed on the need to expand joint efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan, he pointed out.

Rouhani also said that the Pakistani premier assured him that Pakistan "has never joined and will never join any coalition" against Iran.

Iran is ready to supply oil and gas to Pakistan and increase electricity exports to the country by ten-fold, Rouhani also said at a joint press conference with Khan.

Iran is interested in expanding trade between the country's southern Chabahar port city and Pakistan's Gwader port by connecting them with a railway, he noted.

Iran, Turkey and Pakistan as co-founders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) could increase economic cooperation by connecting their railway systems, he said, adding that this would open a corridor from Europe to China.

For his part, Khan said that both neighbors are resolved to tackle disagreements over the issue of terrorism on the common borders.

He stressed that the armed groups should not be allowed to use Iran or Pakistan soils for terrorist activities.

On this issue, both neighbors need close cooperation in the future, he added.

Over the past years, Iran's southeastern border with Pakistan has been the scene of deadly clashes between the armed groups and the security guards.

Khan arrived in Iran on Sunday for meetings with the Iranian officials over security talks and boost of ties.

Khan started his two-day tour by visiting the Iranian northeastern holy city of Mashhad.

In a Thursday meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost, Khan said ties with Iran are of great significance and he will seek closer relations between the two neighbors during his upcoming visit, Press TV reported.

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