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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says coalitions allegedly fighting terrorism are incapable of playing a role in the establishment of stability and security in the region. “Countries, which have supported terrorist groups such as Taliban, al-Qaeda and Daesh [by providing them] money and arms for many years and are still helping them, cannot claim to be combating terrorism,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Tehran on Monday. He stressed the importance of enhancing security in the region and in the Muslim world and urged all countries to make efforts to uproot terrorism and restore lasting regional security. Rouhani further stated that Iran and Pakistan had many common interests and urged the two countries to reinforce relations in all fields and increase the volume of their trade ties to five billion dollars per year. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by the Pakistani people over the past 70 years and the expansion of ties and interactions between the two countries’ officials and representatives can undoubtedly be effective in developing mutual relations,” Rouhani added. He also expressed Iran’s readiness to completely meet Pakistan's needs in the energy sector and expressed hope that Islamabad would take necessary steps to complete a pipeline project for the export of Iran’s gas to the country, which has been stalled for years. The project is meant to transfer natural gas from Iran’s energy hub of Assaluyeh to Pakistan. Iran has already taken the pipeline to the border with its eastern neighbor. However, Pakistan has so far failed to construct its share of the pipeline due to what officials say has been a lack of funds. The Iranian president also urged the establishment of land and rail transit routes between the two neighboring countries, saying the Iranian port city of Chabahar and Pakistan’s southeastern port of Gwadar have the potential to bring about positive developments in the region. Pakistan keen to complete gas pipeline project: Sadiq The speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, for his part, said his country needed to use Iran’s capacities in the energy sector, particularly for the transfer of gas, and also expressed Islamabad’s readiness to complete the pipeline project. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C-R) and Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (C-L) meet in Tehran on April 24, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)
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Sadiq also warned of the spread of terrorist groups, particularly Taliban and Daesh, in the region and urged collective cooperation to counter them. Peace and stability in the region would be beneficial to all countries, the Pakistani parliamentarian pointed out. Sadiq is on an official visit to Tehran at the invitation of Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. He held talks with Foreign MinisterMohammad Javad Zarif and the top Iranian parliamentarian on Saturday. --- Iran–Pakistan relations --- ...