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Summit of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan calls for cooperation
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The declaration issued by trilateral summit of Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani presidents held in Tehran Sunday called on the three neighbors to enhance security, political and economic cooperation in the region.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pakistani President Asef Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Sunday in the Iranian capital of Tehran to discuss regional issues.

The "Tehran Declaration", inked by three presidents at the end of the meeting, agreed to the expansion of security, political and economic cooperation among the three neighboring states, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The declaration also called to speed up energy cooperation among the three countries, according to the report.

At the press conference after the meeting, the Iranian president said "We shared the same views...and we gained the great consensus."

"All three countries believe that the only way to solve the problems ... is that only the nations of the very same region and the regional people are able to tackle the issues... by themselves," Ahmadinejad said.

The Pakistani president also urged to further cooperation, which he said will give a new impetus to the developments in the region.

He added "We have agreed to hold regular structured dialogues" and to push forward "free trade."

Meanwhile, Zardari said that the three countries are "going through a difficult time," especially there are a lot of problems along the Pakistani-Afghan borders.

For his part, Hamid Karzai said the three countries are facing the same problems in the region, such as terrorism and drug smuggling, which impede the economic development of each state.

He called for tangible measures to improve regional security to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday, the Iranian president warned that the "outside powers" only endanger security in the region and "foreign forces do not help increase regional security."

The trilateral meeting aims to provide mechanism for regular consultations of leaders of the three countries on international campaign against terrorism and to seek ways to combat drug-trafficking and extremism, according to IRNA.

The meeting is also held for the purpose of fostering regional cooperation in the fields of energy, health, transit of goods, trade and agriculture.

The trilateral meeting had been scheduled to be held on May 19, but due to busy working schedule of Zardari, it was postponed to Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2009)

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