KABUL: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in a joint statement Monday resolved to enhance cooperation against terrorism, extremism, trafficking of narcotics and regional and international organized crime to strengthen peace, stability, security and economic development in the region. The statement was issued after the first trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers of the three countries here on Monday.
The meeting was the follow up of the agreement reached between the heads of the three neighbours in March this year on the sidelines of the 10th ECO summit in Tehran, said a spokesman of Pakistan’s Foreign Office. The meeting took place in a warm and cordial atmosphere.
The Foreign Ministers reiterated the importance of trilateral political dialogue and cooperation on regional and international issues of mutual interest. They expressed their strong commitment to redouble their efforts, utilizing the potentials of the three countries, in addressing these challenges for the welfare and prosperity of their peoples. They reaffirmed the importance of expansion of economic and trade cooperation among the three countries.
They agreed to exchange and promote trade and transit facilities among the three countries, with due regard to the special needs of the land-locked countries, in accordance with the ECO recommendations, particularly the joint declaration of the 10th ECO summit as well as relevant regional and international conventions.
All the sides recognized the need to facilitate and expedite customs transactions to ensure effective and efficient delivery of goods and services. They also agreed to promote preferential trade arrangements between the three countries, and to further strengthen the existing regional agreement and frameworks and remove trade imbalances.
They underlined the need to construct in an expedited manner, railways and roads as link networks for enhancing trade, economic growth and strengthened regional cooperation. They affirmed the need to operationalize designated projects for transfer of electricity from Central Asia to Iran and Pakistan through Afghanistan.
They reiterated the importance of joint cooperation in the field of agriculture. The Foreign Ministers emphasized joint cooperation to facilitate investment in various fields, in conformity with the national legislation of the three countries, for voluntary participation in relevant actions.
They agreed to establish joint training centers aimed at achieving a proficient labour force for formulation of relevant projects among the three countries. They highlighted the importance of consolidating relations among the three countries, including people to people contact, as an important measure to bring to an end trafficking of human beings and, in that regard, agreed to identify additional measures to ensure safe and legal movement of their citizens.
They emphasized enhanced cooperation and coordination of activities in fields of culture, education, higher education, health and scientific research. The Foreign Minister acknowledged with great importance the need to enhance cooperation for controlling the spread of transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
They agreed to hold periodic meeting of Foreign Ministers of the three countries. They also agreed to hold the Second Trilateral Summit in Tehran within one month.-APP