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China, Pakistan and Iran Urged to Forge A Trilateral Partnership

ISLAMABAD – Experts have advised Islamabad, Beijing and Tehran to develop their trilateral mechanism to benefit from the signing of a strategic agreement between China and Iran.
The suggestion was presented at a webinar organized by the Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI), which was chaired by the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Pakistani Senate, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
The webinar was attended by representatives of local expert groups as well as Chinese and Iranians.
It was held to discuss the proposed pact between China and Iran and explore how Pakistan could benefit from it, especially after India’s gradual departure from Iran due to U.S. sanctions.
Senator Mushahid said “long-range” development bodes well for strengthening regional cooperation and connectivity. “China’s entry into Iran with a strategic partnership and the Indian exit from Chabahar will help secure our western borders and strengthen the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he said.
India’s exit from Iran’s Chabahar projects would pose a reduced threat to the Gwadar and CPEC projects, Mushahid added.
Senator Mushahid said that Pakistan and Iran enjoy a “strategic confluence” of interests. He listed common interests as peaceful and secure borders without the territory of the other being used by non-state actors to destabilize the other neighbor; regional economic and commercial connectivity through BRI / CPEC; cultural connectivity through the common heritage of religion, history and Allama Iqbal; lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan; opposing hegemony, sectarianism, terrorism and extremism; and reject a “New Cold War” in the region.
Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, in an article for IPI on the China-Iran partnership which was read out at the webinar, said the comprehensive document would provide a framework for “long-term and strategic cooperation in all political and economic fields and in an equal and fair approach.
The ambassador said Iran was ready to extend its cooperation with China to other friendly countries in the region in a regional mechanism.
Lead researcher at the Center for Western Asian and African Studies, the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Dr Jin Liangxiang, said the conditions were favorable for trilateral cooperation between Pakistan, China and Iran.
Iran and Pakistan can, through this cooperation, become new centers of economic power for the region, he said.
He said CPEC was making good progress, but that it was important for Iran to develop a national consensus on China’s planned investment.
He warned that China’s entry into Iran could be seen by India as a challenge from China and Pakistan and could react to the development.
The three countries, he said, could benefit through energy cooperation, the construction of pipelines to transport Iranian oil and gas to China, and better market access.
Dr Foad Izadi, a professor at Tehran University, said there could be no better partner for Iran than China and Pakistan in their quest to defeat America’s “maximum pressure policy”.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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