Welcome Remarks by DG ISSI at the public talk by Iranian Ambassador
4 February 2020
Welcome to the Ambassador of Iran Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini.
Iran and Pakistan are not only neighbors but two countries, two nations connected by centuries of interactions, especially the ties of faith, art and culture that have bound us for-ever. Mr. Ambassador you would be able to discover for yourself that the people of Pakistan hold in high esteem our relations with your country.
I have personally lived in Iran for over five years and found the experience highly rewarding. My family too enjoyed their time in Tehran. Iran is a large country and Tehran is a huge metropolitan. Millions of people crowd the streets of Tehran, but you would always find these roads clean and their parks manicured. It’s the rich Iranian culture that distinguishes this nation from others.
Iran as a country has come a long way since the 1979 revolution. The resilient Irani nation has demonstrated that it can withstand pressures and strive for what it believes to be the correct path.
It is a matter of shared concern that the geo political changes sweeping our region are antithetical to peace and stability in this part of the world. The recent months have witnessed the rise of tensions between Iran and the United States. We also noted with concern the US pull out of JCPOA and subsequent developments, including the killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani.
In fact, I was in Tehran immediately after this occurrence for Tehran Forum at IPIS and personally witnessed the grief of the Iranian nation. One also witnesses worrisome trends in the situation in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya. The entire Middle East is under stress.
We believe these recent developments are a source of concern to the entire region, including Pakistan. It is in this context that the Prime Minister of Pakistan has been constantly voicing Pakistan’s deep desire that we must not allow tensions to escalate, that we must find peaceful ways to lower the tensions and then bridge the differences. War serves no one and solves no problems.
Likewise, our relations with Saudi Arabia too are important for Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has been a friend of Pakistan for decades. We therefore get concerned if tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia go up. Again, the leadership of Pakistan has sent out its offer to help resolve issues and differences. This is not just an offer to help for the larger interest of Muslim Ummah. This is also an articulation of our assessment that any outbreak of hostilities would adversely affect all parties and others in the region.
On the bilateral plane, Pakistan would like to engage with Iran on all matters that are of common interest, including cooperation on the borders to ensure that peace and tranquility prevails. Pakistan has fought against terrorism and reversed its tide. We are proud of this achievement. Pakistan and Iran can certainly cooperate in this regard to ensure that no terrorist element crosses Pakistan Iran border in either direction. There is also tremendous scope of economic and commercial cooperation between the two nations. However, the US sanctions have been an impediment to the growth of these ties. We need to find ways to increase bilateral cooperation.
The ISSI is happy to serve as a forum for interactive positive dialogue, especially with our neighbors and other countries considered close to our people.
With these words, I welcome once again the honorable Ambassador to this talk.