Iran, Afghanistan Discuss Establishment of Joint Economic Zone
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Governor General of Iran’s Sistan and Balouchestan Province Ali Owsat Hashemi and Mohammad Zaher Nourestani, the Afghan consul general in Iran's provincial capital city of Zahedan, conferred on the establishment of a joint economic zone between the two countries.
During the meeting held in Zahedan on Saturday, the two sides exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, and called for the further expansion of the two neighboring countries' ties.
They also discussed the establishment of a special economic zone along the two countries' shared border.
The Iranian official said Iran-Afghanistan relations are based on mutual respect, adding that commonalities such as shared language, religion and culture has strengthened the bond between the two nations.
He said that the establishment of the joint special economic zone would be of high importance for both countries, and noted that the use of the rich resources by both sides will be a great step towards the development and prosperity.
Trade between the two nations has increased dramatically since the overthrow of the Taliban government in late 2001. Iran and Afghanistan plan on building a new railroad connecting Mashhad to Herat.
In their meeting on December 8, presidents of Iran and Afghanistan issued a joint statement, commissioning foreign ministers of both countries to come up with a comprehensive friendship and cooperation pact which would guarantee long-term mutual interests of the two neighboring nations.
During the meeting, President Hassan Rouhani stressed the sense of "good neighborliness and fraternity" between the two countries and said his administration places emphasis on developing relations with all of Iran’s neighbors, particularly the Muslim state of Afghanistan, and believes that the welfare and security of the Afghan people can contribute to regional cooperation.
President Hamid Karazi, too, hailed Iran's principled stands towards Afghanistan, saying the people and government of his country hold the Iranian nation and government in high respect and esteem.