Tehran – Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost on Thursday said that the country has no objection to any country participating in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
While addressing a press conference in the consulate, Honardoost said that “CPEC is a game changer and that it is time to prioritise regional trade”.
Commenting on relations between the two countries, the ambassador said, “Iran wishes to have good relations with Pakistan,” adding that he is positive the relations will improve even more.
“Relations and cooperation in various matters between the two countries are on the right track,” Honardoost said, adding that “the two countries are on the same page in a lot of matters”. “Terrorism has affected both countries,” the ambassador added.
In September, it was reported that Pakistan has invited Saudi Arabia to be part of CPEC. The statement resulted in criticism and questions from the opposition who asked why they were not taken into confidence over the decision. It also asked whether China’s consent, as well as regional concerns, were taken into account
However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday denied the statement and said that “Saudi Arabia would not be part of the project”. While talking at a press conference, the minister was responding to a question about the possibility of the kingdom becoming part of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) or Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the CPEC.
“There could be many offshoots of the CPEC where third countries could be involved in trilateral arrangements for CPEC, like China-Pakistan-Japan, China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia or China-Pakistan-Germany,” Fawad had said, adding that “Saudi Arabia is not to become a collateral strategic partner in the CPEC. This impression is not true”.