New era in Iran-Tajikistan relations underway: President

Tehran, IRNA – Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said in the joint press conference with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon that a new era in the relations between the two countries was underway.

Raisi who is in Tajikistan at the invitation of the Tajik president expressed hope that the visit would be a turning point in the relationship between Iran and Tajikistan.

Iranian president arrived at Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Thursday and attended Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, where Iran’s long-awaited permanent membership in the regional organization was accepted.

He said that the two leaders had highlighted the history of relations between Iran and Tajikistan and that the Islamic Republic of Iran was the first country to support and recognize Tajikistan’s independence after the USSR dissolution.

Relations with Tajikistan are a foreign policy priority for Iran, Raisi said, as the people of both countries have heartfelt connections and the fact that both nations see themselves of the same cultural and civilization bespeaks the importance of the relationship between Tehran and Dushanbe.

Raisi also pointed to Iran’s marine connection capacities like Chabahar and Bandar Abbas ports, noting that this should serve trading ties between Tajikistan and Iran.

He mentioned cultural ties and the role of Persian Language in cultural relations between Iran and Tajikistan. Agriculture sector was another area mentioned by Raisi that can facilitate expansion of ties.

The Iranian president also made remarks on the developments in Afghanistan, highlighting the close stances of Iran and Tajikistan on the issue. He said that both countries believe that foreign interference in Afghanistan has caused countless problems and must be stopped.

Afghanistan’s problem should be solved by Afghan people through an intra-Afghan dialogue and collaboration of neighbor countries that have a linkage with Afghanistan, Raisi underscored.

He also stressed that the government in Afghanistan must be an inclusive one that represents all the people and embraces all ethnic and political groups.

Raisi called the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan a danger for the region, saying that the Americans made the ISIS and wanted to settle them in Afghanistan after they raged war in Iraq and Syria.

He noted that Iran objected the presence of any group that would facilitate growth of terrorism in Afghanistan.

Iran’s presence in the region has helped establish security, while the presence of trans-regional forces has ruined security in the region, the President said.

Raisi elaborated that Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei was worried about all people in the region and all Muslims around the globe and believed that they should be able to live a life of peace, growth, and advancement, which is always reflected in his speeches and statements.

We believe in line with this policy that Tajikistan is Iran’s friend, brother, and cultural and religious fellow; when Tajikistan manages to develop, it is like Iran has developed, Raisi went on to say, adding that the slightest insecurity in Tajikistan and in the region equals to insecurity inside Iran.

Raisi expressed gratitude towards the president, the government, and the people of Tajikistan for their hospitality and voiced hope that the visit would serve expansion of ties between the two nations.

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