Iran proposes five-nation bloc to resolve regional issues
On Tuesday, Mohammad Ali Hosseini proposed a new bloc consisting of Russia, China and Turkey, as well as Pakistan and Iran, to resolve regional issues and foster cooperation among themselves.
Mr Hosseini lectured at the Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI) on the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and on the upcoming 72nd anniversary of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran.
“Lands like Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and China have the potential to build a new alliance for the region’s better future,” the envoy said. He also called for closer cooperation between Islamabad and Tehran to resolve regional issues, including the Afghanistan conflict.
He had sounded condemnatory of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC).
“Unfortunately this organization has not been effective in addressing Islamic Ummah issues and taking positions in support of the Islamic cause because of the role of some countries,” he said in a reference to the ‘dysfunctional’ OIC.
Highlighting the importance of resolving Muslim countries ‘ problems, Mr Hosseini said the US and Israel were trying to create a new agenda for the Muslim world. “The Islamic world should not allow big themes such as Palestine to be excluded from the working agenda of their conferences / meetings,” he maintained, while opposing President Trump’s’ Deal of the Century’ as the most heinous peace plan for the Middle East.
He suggested that other fora such as the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO) be used effectively to strengthen multilateral economic cooperation.
On the bilateral line, Mr Hosseini called for the elimination of all sorts of “hurdles and problems” that would hinder their cooperation. He evidently referred to the US sanctions that prevented the implementation of the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, the opening of banking networks, and trade expansion.
“Both countries have the potential to complement one another in the economic affairs of the two countries,” he said.
Emphasizing the completion of the IP gas pipeline project, he said: “Use of this project and its relation to the CPEC’s major project will be a game-changer and bring vast economic growth to Pakistan and the region.”
In regards to the border markets, the ambassador said that since Iran and Pakistan had a long border market, setting up border markets could play an important role in both countries’ trade and economic development.
“Establishment of a rail network between Gwadar and Chabahar and its link up to Europe and Central Asia through Iran will usher major economic development in the region,” he added.