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PRESS RELEASE

Hossein Sheikholeslam Calls for Cohesive Socio-Economic Development in West Asia

March 07, 2017

New Delhi: Advocating strongly for the need for security and economic prosperity for all in West Asia, Ambassador Hossein Sheikholeslam, Advisor to Foreign Minister, Islamic Republic of Iran, in a Special Address today blamed socio-economic imbalances for political uncertainty in the region.
 
Ambassador Sheikholeslam was speaking on the second day of the 19th Asian Security Conference on ‘Combating Terrorism: Evolving an Asian Response’, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), on March 7, 2017.
 
Insisting that West Asia has been a victim of Western arrogance and colonial intervention for years, he said that continued meddling is the root cause of political conflicts in the region. Cohesive socio-economic development of the entire region is the only way to establish peace, he added.
 
Commenting on Syria, The Ambassador said Iran and Syria share a common political and strategic outlook and it is the people of Syria who must decide their own future. On Afghanistan, he said Iran’s relations with Afghanistan are founded on very close cultural and historic ties.
 
Speaking on West Asia and Caucuses, other speakers at the conference highlighted the clash of interests of powers involved in the 'New Great Game' for influence in Central Asia, and large-scale drug trafficking along the northern transportation route from Afghanistan to Russia, as chief causes of instability in the region.
 
They unanimously urged the international community to agree on common denominators for formulation of a single counterstrategy for violent extremism. The speakers agreed that political communities should try to reach out to the nations and ethnic sections that are potentially prone to radicalisation.
 
Citing external interventions as one of the major causes for increasing radicalisation of youth and terrorism in the region, the experts called for greater regional and international cooperation for the systematic eradication of religious extremism.
 
Speaking on the rise of Da’esh as an unprecedented event in the geopolitics of the West Asian region, the experts noted that the terrorist outfit has challenged the existing regional political order by trying to redraw boundaries in the volatile region. Even if defeated, its surviving fighters could go underground, return to their countries of origin, and mutate into another radical organisation.