Iranian envoy proposes five-nation bloc on regional issues

Islamabad, Feb 5 (IANS): Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan, Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, has proposed a new bloc comprising Russia, China and Turkey, in addition to Pakistan and Iran, for addressing regional issues and promoting cooperation among themselves, a media report said on Wednesday.

Hosseini was delivering a lecture at the Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI) on Tuesday in connection with the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the upcoming 72nd anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran, Dawn reported.

“Countries like Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and China have the potential to form a new alliance for better future of the region,” the envoy said.

He also urged for closer cooperation between Islamabad and Tehran for addressing regional issues, including the conflict in Afghanistan.

He sounded critical of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “Unfortunately, due to the role of some countries, this organisation has not been effective in addressing issues of the Islamic Ummah and taking positions in the support of Islamic cause,” he said in a reference to the ‘dysfunctional’ OIC.

Hosseini suggested cooperation on Afghan peace and the Gwadar-Chabahar rail link.

Underscoring the urgency of addressing the issues facing Muslim countries, Hosseini said that the US and Israel were trying to dictate a new agenda to the Muslim world. “The Islamic world should not allow that main subjects like Palestine be removed from the working agenda of their conferences/meetings,” he maintained while dismissing President Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ as the “most despicable” peace plan for the Middle East.

He suggested effective utilisation of other forums like the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Organisation for enhancing multilateral economic cooperation.

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