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Iran ready to help boost connectivity between South, Central Asia, says envoy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi (File photo)

Iran's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Zahra Ershadi, has expressed the country's readiness to contribute to promoting connectivity between South and Central Asia.

Speaking at a UN General Assembly session on Monday, Ershadi described Iran as a "connecting bridge" between the two regions.

"Iran, with its unique capacities, potentials, and capabilities, and as an important connecting bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, is ready to help promote the connectivity between these two important regions," she said.

Stressing the significance of increased connectivity between Central and South Asia and the comprehensive development of ties between the two regions, the envoy called for enhanced cooperation in different areas, such as economy, investment, energy, transport, and technological innovation.

She said connectivity plays a "significant role" in promoting trade, economic growth, and sustainable development, and added that boosting cooperation between the two regions would “strengthen friendly ties between the neighboring countries”.

The senior Iranian diplomat also referred to “the important role of regional organizations" such as the Tehran-based Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in "enhancing inter and intra-regional connectivity”.

Ershadi noted that Tehran encourages the continuation and advancement of cooperation between Central and South Asia through expanding transport and communication infrastructure and international transport corridors that pave the way for safe trade routes to seaports, citing Termez-MazareSharif-Herat-Zahedan-Chabahar as well as Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Pakistan railways as examples.

Ershadi emphasized the importance of multi-modal transport for promoting connectivity between the two strategically-important regions, noting that ports such as Chabahar play a crucial role in this regard.

The UN envoy also referred to the negative impact of unlawful, unilateral measures and illegal sanctions hampering connectivity between the two regions, calling for refraining from politicizing the vital issue of connectivity.

Her remarks came during the discussion on a resolution seeking to strengthen connectivity between Central and South Asia. The resolution, which was drafted by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, was adopted during the session on Monday. 


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