ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday agreed to work together for peace in Afghanistan and regional stability.

The two countries held informal consultations on regional situation including Afghanistan, said a statement issued here by the foreign ministry.

The agreement on cooperation between Pakistan and Iran comes after the United States pressed Pakistan to accept President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan policy – with a greater role for India.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited Pakistan this month, made it clear to Pakistan’s civil and military leadership that his country will not change its Afghan policy on Islamabad’s demand.

President Trump had earlier threatened that military and other aid to Washington’s nuclear-armed ally was at stake if Pakistan did not clamp down on extremists.

However, Prime Minister Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif held meetings with the US leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September, which helped improvement in the relationship.

Asif visited Washington in October again for more meetings with Tillerson and other officials before the secretary of state’s visit to Pakistan.

Recently, Iran said the US supported dictatorship against democracy.

In a statement issued by the Iranian embassy here had said: “From the very first days of the Islamic revolution, the United States adopted a hostile, interventionist and destabilising approach towards Iran’s newly-established government with the aim of overthrowing it.”

The foreign ministry statement on Wednesday said: “Pakistan and Iran held first round of informal consultations in Islamabad at the level of director generals of the ministries of foreign affairs on regional situation especially the efforts of peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

“In the consultations Pakistani delegation was led by Director General (Afghanistan) Mansoor Ahmad Khan in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the Iranian side was led by Director General Rasoul Eslami of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who visited Islamabad for these consultations,” it said.

“The two directors general reaffirmed commitment and support of Pakistan and Iran to the efforts of Afghanistan and the international community for achieving lasting peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan, which is important for regional stability,” the statement added.

It said the two sides agreed there was no military solution to the prolonged Afghan conflict and emphasised the need of a credible political process owned and led by Afghanistan for an internal settlement.

“Pakistan delegation stated that it attaches importance to engagement with Afghanistan in political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries,” said the statement.

Pakistan and Iran, it said, recognised that terrorism was a major threat to global and regional peace.

The two sides, the statement said, “discussed that threats such as increasing terrorism and violence in Afghanistan, rising drug production and trafficking and expanding foothold of Daesh especially posed challenge for Afghanistan and its neighbourhood.”

It added: “They emphasised the need of concerted efforts and cooperation among all the states in counter-terrorism, border management and combating production and trafficking of narcotics. The two sides also underscored importance of dignified return and resettlement of refugees in Afghanistan.”

The two countries discussed the ways for deepening regional economic cooperation and enhancing connectivity.

This was the first round of bilateral consultations with Iran on regional peace and security with focus on the situation in Afghanistan.

“The two sides agreed to continue these informal consultations as part of their strong commitment to peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan, and the region,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Pakistan strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack that struck the diplomatic area of Kabul on October 31st.

A foreign ministry statement said: “We are grieved at the loss of precious lives in this dreadful terrorist attack.  We express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

Pakistan, the statement said: “Reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations, and expresses solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan in their fight against the menace of terrorism. We believe concerted efforts by states, and close cooperation among them, are needed for eliminating the scourge of terrorism.”