Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is on an official trip to Pakistan to explore ways for the enhancement of bilateral relations. This comes as Tehran and Islamabad have recently experienced very close contacts, in terms of official visits and mutual understandings.
کد خبر: ۷۸۲۲۱۵
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۱ اسفند ۱۳۹۶ - ۱۷:۳۵ 12 March 2018

Tabnak – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is on an official trip to Pakistan to explore ways for the enhancement of bilateral relations. This comes as Tehran and Islamabad have recently experienced very close contacts, in terms of official visits and mutual understandings.

The Iranian top diplomat arrived in Islamabad on Sunday at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation. Upon his arrival at Islamabad, Zarif said Iran pursues “free bilateral trade” with the neighboring South Asian country. 

He further said the Islamic Republic also seeks to promote its banking relations with Pakistan and boost preferred tariffs levied on traded goods.

In the same vein, in a meeting in Islamabad on Monday, Zarif and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif explored avenues for closer political, economic, cultural and security cooperation between the two Muslim neighbors.

“It is necessary for Iran and Pakistan, two friends and neighbors with common borders, to work in strong cooperation to ensure security of their border and prevent the infiltration of terrorists,” Zarif said in the meeting. For his part, the Pakistani minister said Islamabad favors “stable borders for the two countries.”

The two senior diplomats also held talks on other issues, including joint action for peace in Afghanistan, the war on terrorism and narcotics trafficking, Muslim world issues, banking interaction, power exports, expansion of border markets, and multilateral economic cooperation for regional peace and stability.

Addressing the Iran-Pakistan Business Conference in Islamabad was another part of Zarif schedule in Islamabad, in which he noted that despite all hurdles, trade between Iran and Pakistan is improving and last year witnessed growth of 35 percent in bilateral trade volume.

However, Zarif said that the volume of trade between Iran and Pakistan doesn’t commensurate with existing high capacities and potentials, which are even commendably rising. “The most important factor in the discussion on economic ties elevation should be establishment of banking connections between the two countries.”

It should be noted that Zarif’s plan in Islamabad also includes meetings with Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The top Iranian diplomat will leave Islamabad for Karachi on March 13 before returning home.

In November 2017, Pakistan’s chief of army staff visited Tehran with a delegation of high-ranking military officials for talks with top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri.

In 2016, senior officials from Iran and Pakistan signed six memorandums of understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas, including health, commerce, security and foreign services.

The current trip is Zarif’s seventh to Pakistan in his capacity as foreign minister. The last visit in May featured talks aimed at boosting border security following an attack on the common border that killed 10 Iranian guards.

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