"Let us start with regional dialogue forums in our region, which has seen so many wars in the recent decades since Saddam Hussain's Iraq attacked Iran first and then Kuwait," Zarif said while addressing the 2019 Raisina Dialogue, India's flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference, here.
"We are prepared to engage with all neighbours," he said.
Zarif said the admissions to such regional forums should be governed by sovereignty, integrity, peace and stability of states.
Stating that dialogue forums can be through government, private sector and civil society, he said: "We need a strong region, and not dominant strong men."
Meanwhile, in an apparent softening of Tehran's stand vis-a-vis Islamabad's policy on war-ravaged Afghanistan, Zarif told a news channel here that the "Pakistani position on Afghanistan is evolving and we believe that Pakistan now is trying to play a positive role in getting a peace process underway in Afghanistan".
"I understand that the Pakistanis also do not wish to see an Afghanistan dominated by extremists groups because that for Iran and India is a security threat but for Pakistan, it is an existential threat. Extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan is an existential threat for Pakistan."
Zarif said the presence of US troops did "nothing to help the security and stability of Afghanistan".
Organised by the External Affairs Ministry in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) think tank, this fourth edition of the Raisina Dialogue is being attended by over 600 delegates from 92 countries, including influential political leaders, strategic thinkers, policy practitioners, technology innovators, business representatives and academics.
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