ISLAMABAD: Pakistan‚ Iran and Afghanistan have pledged to develop framework of comprehensive cooperation and to take pragmatic steps for realizing mutually beneficial cooperation to promote stability‚ peace and shared prosperity.
In a joint statement signed by President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian and Afghan counterparts at the conclusion of their third trilateral summit in Islamabad today‚ they resolved to ensure respect for sovereignty‚ independence‚ unity and territorial integrity‚ as enshrined in the UN Charter.
They agreed to commence a process for an agreement pledging not to allow any threat emanating from their respective territories against each other.
The three leaders also agreed to broaden cooperation in the political‚ security‚ economic‚ cultural‚ social and educational fields and enhance people to people contacts including exchange visits of parliamentarians‚ academicians and journalists.
They would strengthen cooperation for eradicating extremism‚ terrorism and militancy and to address the root causes of these menaces‚ condemning the killings of civilians as well as any kind of assassinations.
The summit mandated Foreign Ministers of the three countries to prepare and coordinate a Road Map for Trilateral Cooperation for submission to the next Summit.
It also mandated the Interior Ministers to develop a framework of trilateral cooperation particularly in the areas of counter terrorism‚ counter-narcotics and border management within six months.
The three countries agreed to enhance three-way trade by facilitation measures‚ including preferential tariff and free trade arrangements as well as barter trade. Commerce Ministers would outline steps for enhancing three-way economic cooperation. They also expressed commitment to expand trade in transit and encourage the private sector to invest in the three countries.
The joint statement lays emphasis on prioritizing cooperation for socio-economic development.
Pakistan‚ Iran and Afghanistan would cooperate in combating the problems of narcotic drugs production and trafficking and in combating transnational organized crimes.
They agreed to enhance connectivity through raid and rail links; develop mutually beneficial cooperation in the energy‚ mining and minerals‚ agriculture and cooperate for the safe‚ voluntary and early return of Afghan refugees to their homeland in honour and dignity.
They emphasized the need for enhancing their cooperation at international level‚ especially within the United Nations system.
The leaders agreed to contribute to the development and reconstruction in Afghanistan and broaden cooperation in the political‚ security‚ economic‚ cultural‚ social and educational fields and enhance people to people contacts including exchange visits of parliamentarians‚ academicians and journalists.
The summit mandated senior officials to meet regularly to monitor the implementation of the decisions taken by the Trilateral Summits.
The Fourth Trilateral Summit would be held in Kabul by the end of this year.