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Iran Invites Pakistan to Take Part in Maritime Security Drill

Iran’s Navy commander invited Pakistan to take part in a joint maritime security exercise, and expressed Iran’s readiness to dispatch naval fleets to Pakistani ports.

Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, who has traveled to Islamabad, in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi called for efforts to boost naval cooperation between the two Muslim neighbors.

Khanzadi pointed to Iran’s presidency of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), saying Pakistan has played a constructive role in collective cooperation among the IONS members.

He added that Iran is looking forward to the Pakistani Navy’s participation in a joint maritime security exercise.

Expressing Iran’s readiness to send warships to the ports of Pakistan for friendly visits, Khanzadi said the two nations have great potential for growth in the shipping industry with their strategic ports, such as the Gwadar Port and Chabahar.

The Iranian commander also warned against hostile attempts to create division among regional nations, stressing that the region would be much safer without the presence of foreign forces.

For his part, the Pakistani admiral highlighted the cultural and religious commonalities between the two neighbors, saying that a maritime corridor that links China to Pakistan provides a perfect economic opportunity for the region and for Iran’s ports.

Iranian and Pakistani naval forces have in recent years promoted cooperation and staged several joint drills in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman.

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