ISLAMABAD: Iran and Pakistan called on the United Nations Security Council in a joint statement issued on Wednesday to take action against Israel, saying it had "illegally" targeted neighbouring countries and foreign diplomatic facilities.

The joint statement, released by Pakistan's foreign ministry, followed a three-day visit to the country by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Explosions were heard last Friday over the Iranian city of Isfahan in what sources said was an Israeli attack. However, Tehran played down the incident and said it had no plans for retaliation.

"Recognising that the irresponsible act of the Israeli regime forces was a major escalation in an already volatile region, both sides called on the UN Security Council to prevent the Israeli regime from its adventurism in the region and its illegal acts attacking its neighbours...," Iran and Pakistan said in their joint statement.

Muslim neighbours Iran and Pakistan are seeking to mend ties after unprecedented tit-for-tat military strikes this year.

Raisi, who wrapped up his visit and flew on to Sri Lanka on Wednesday, vowed to boost trade between Iran and Pakistan to $10 billion a year.

During his visit to Pakistan, Raisi was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying any further Israeli attack on Iranian territory could radically change the dynamics and result in there being nothing left of the "Zionist regime".

On April 13, Tehran launched a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel in what it said was retaliation for Israel's suspected deadly strike on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus on April 1, but almost all were shot down.

Pakistan has previously called for de-escalation by "all parties".

Iran and Pakistan vowed during Raisi's visit to boost trade and energy cooperation, including on a major gas pipeline deal that has faced delays due to geopolitical issues and international sanctions.

Finalise Free Trade Agreement

Meanwhile, in the joint statement, it was stressed that there was a need to further strengthen bilateral economic cooperation.

"The two neighboring countries agreed to expeditiously finalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and hold the next sessions of Annual Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) and Joint Business Trade Committee (JBTC) as well as the 22nd round of the negotiations of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in the near future," a statement by the foreign ministry said.

"They also agreed to facilitate regular exchange of economic and technical experts, as well as delegations from Chambers of Commerce from both countries to intensify economic cooperation," as per the joint statement.

The declaration of the ‘Reemdan border point’ as an international border crossing point under TIR and opening of the remaining two border sustenance markets was also agreed.

Release prisoners

The two sides also expressed their agreement to release each others’ prisoners and take measures for their extradition based on the Treaty for the Extradition of Criminals and the Accused between Iran And Pakistan approved by the two countries in 1960 and the Agreement on the Transfer of Convicts between the two countries approved in 2016.

Collaborative approach to confront terrorism

Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and "recognized that terrorism posed a common threat to regional peace and stability and presented a major impediment to the development of the region", the joint statement read.

The two leaders agreed to adopt a collaborative approach to confront this menace and to leverage the existing bilateral institutional mechanisms to effectively combat and counter this threat, while fully upholding the principles of the UN Charter.

Reaffirm commitment to development of Afghanistan

Pakistan and Iran reaffirmed their commitment to the development of Afghanistan, and reaffirmed their willingness to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism and security and to develop a united front against terrorism.

"While respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, the two sides recognized that increasing participation of all strata of Afghans in basic decision-making will lead to the strengthening of peace and stability in this country."


200 characters