Iran, Saudi Arabia should settle disputes through dialog

ISLAMABAD, Mar. 27 (MNA) – In a Sat. presser in Islamabad, President Rouhani said the existing issues between Iran and Saudi Arabia should be resolved through dialog.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended a press conference on the last day of his visit to the Pakistani capital and stressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to expand and cement relations and cooperation with the neighboring country.

To a question on the completion and operation of the two countries’ joint projects on transferring gas to Pakistan as well as port cooperation, he said “despite all difficulties, Iran has abided by its commitments toward the issue on gas transfer, and now it is up to Pakistan to fulfil its commitments and complete the gas pipeline on its soil.”

Iran has completed its part of the gas pipeline project with more than $2 billion of investment but Pakistan has fallen behind the target to take gas deliveries in the winter of 2014. Earlier in Jan. Ali-Reza Kameli, CEO of National Iranian Gas Exports Company, said Tehran would take action if Pakistan fail to meet its obligations with regard to the construction of a pipeline for receiving Iran’s natural gas.

Iran has already laid out a major part of the pipelines as far as the Pakistani borders, although Pakistan has not taken “any specific action with regard to the construction of 780 kilometers of gas pipeline on its soil under the pretext of sanctions on Iran,” according to Kameli.

President Rouhani further referred to the ‘healthy and complementary competition’ between Iranian Port of Chabahar and Pakistani Port of Gwadar, saying “should these two ports connect, all East Asian countries including China can benefit from it. The connection of China’s railway to Pakistan and then to Iran can connect the East to the Middle East region, and the connection of this railway to Russia through Iran can connect Asia to Europe and thus facilitate trade transactions.”

About Iran’s role in Syria’s peace talks and the existing tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, President Rouhani said, “certain steps have been taken to address the issue of terrorism in Syria. Meanwhile, talks between the Syrian Army and the opposition groups should continue. We hope that these talks will lead to a solution for the transition period for determining Syria’s future.”

Rouhani went on to add, “the existing difference in opinions must be resolved through dialog. In the past, too, there had been disputes between Iran and Saudi Arabia in regard to ISIL and other terrorist groups.”

“We do not wish for the tensions to escalate between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran is a major country in the Muslim world and Saudi Arabia, too, holds an important position. If there is any issue between these two countries, it must be settled.”

The President then called for a stop to the purchase of oil from the ISIL as well as the extraction of oil from Syria wells by this terror group, saying “all must participate in establishing peace and holding elections in Syria after the cease-fire.”




News Code 115416


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