Dushanbe, March 25, IRNA - The three Persian speaking neighboring countries of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan here on Tuesday issued a joint communique for expansion of trilateral economic and cultural relations.
The statement, including a prelude and 12 clauses, was endorsed by Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Tajik and Afghan counterparts Khan Zarifi and Rangin Dadfar Sepanta respectively.
The document states that the three foreign ministers had in their meeting discussed issues of trilateral interest as well as regional and international issues in a friendly atmosphere, reaching the agreement to hold regular consultation on political issues and enhancing cooperation for promotion of regional stability and security.
The three sides will take joint efforts against such phenomena as terrorism, extremism, internationally organized crimes, smuggle of drugs and other new challenges and threats.
The three sides will implement a June 2003 trilateral protocol for passenger and cargo transfer on the international level and they will follow up a project for laying railway track stretching from Iran's Sangan to Afghan Herat and Shirkhan and from there to Tajikistan's Dushanbe.
They also stressed implementation of a 2005 energy project which foresees setting up a 500 kilovolt high voltage power transmission line from Iran to Afghan cities of Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif and from there to Tajikistan's border.
The Tajik party too has suggested establishment of a hydraulic power plant on a Tajik domestic river.
The three sides agreed on formation of a joint investment company based on their laws and international standards to run with domestic and foreign financial resources.
The three neighbors will based on the agreement cooperate in providing skilled manpower for recruitment in due projects.
Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan will facilitate their nationals' visit to their territories and to this end they will open up onsulate officials in the cities they agreed to.
They will based on the agreement have cooperation in the fields of education, science, health, cultural heritage and tourism and set up a TV network in Dushanbe to prepare and broadcast Farsi, Tajik, Dari and Pashtun programs.
The three foreign ministers also agreed on holding a ceremony in commemoration of the great Farsi poet Abu Abdullah Rudaki in Dushanbe, Tus, Tehran and Balkh.
They also stressed trilateral cooperation within framework of the UN, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and other international and regional organizations.
The three parties also agreed on formation a follow up council at the level of their deputies foreign minister to follow up implementation of agreements regarding expansion of trilateral political, economic and cultural ties. The first meeting of such a council would be held in Kabul this year.
Foreign Ministers of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan have termed outcome of their Dushanbe meeting "positive" and stressed continuation of such meetings in the future.
Mottaki in a speech termed Noruz as the key to solidarity and convergence of human beings based on friendship, peace and prosperity of mankind.
He said that by celebrating Noruz, regional nations give the message to community of human beings that their Noruz has roots in ages and that ancient regional nations have throughout history been advocates of peace and friendship.
The Iranian Foreign Minister said this year's Noruz is adorned by birth anniversary of holy Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) and the Unity Week (March 20-25).
"Muslims should get further united against those being hostile to Islam. The message of we Muslims to community of human beings is that there should be a demarcation between freedom of expression and insult to sanctities and religious beliefs," he added.
He also congratulated Tajiks on Noruz.
Meanwhile, Tajik Foreign Minister Khan Zarifi voiced pleasure over Mottaki and Afghan Foreign Minister's presence in Tajiks' Noruz celebrations.
Zarifi said promotion of ties among the three Persian speaking countries of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, which share a common culture, religion and tradition, has been among age-old wishes of Tajik government and nation.
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Espanta too took the podium and said Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, which have had a grave contribution to the world's culture and civilization, started Noruz this year with unity and will benefit from their experience more in order for development of their lands.
An exhibition of traditional food, arts and handicrafts was also held on the sidelines of the Noruz celebrations in Hesar region of Dushanbe on Tuesday.
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