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Iran’s Zarif discusses ways to boost partnership with Pakistan on regional security during meeting with Imran Khan

Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Islamabad on an official visit, met and held talks with Imran Khan on Wednesday, during which they also stressed the importance of Tehran-Islamabad bilateral cooperation besides cooperation on regional issues.

The two sides also called for joint efforts to counter Islamophobia, help resolve the problems of the Muslim world and strengthen relations between them.

They also exchanged views on Iran-Pakistan relations, and the expansion of economic and trade relations, especially the strengthening of cross-border exchanges.

Earlier in the day, Zarif also met with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, at the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, during which the two officials underline the need for an all-out effort to bolster ties and adopt coordinated measures towards promoting peace in the region, including in Afghanistan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, meet in Islamabad on November 11, 2020. (Photo by IRNA) 

In the meeting, Zarif pointed to the deep historical and cultural commonalities between the two countries and expressed Iran’s readiness for a comprehensive development of relations with Pakistan.

He also welcomed a decision by the Pakistani government to open new border markets to develop trade relations between the two countries, and announced Iran’s readiness to reach an agreement with its eastern neighbor on devising new methods on trade exchanges.

Zarif also pointed out the importance of strengthening the security of the two countries’ borders and reaffirmed the need for continuous consultations in this regard.

During the meeting, which was first attended by the two top diplomats and later included other senior officials from both sides, Tehran and Islamabad also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation, and to boost efforts to beef up regional peace and contribute to the peace process in Afghanistan.

The two sides also voiced deep concern about growing Islamophobia in the West and said insulting sanctities under the pretext of freedom of expression is by no means acceptable.

The Pakistani foreign minister, for his part, described Iran as an important friend and neighbor of Pakistan and said his country has taken practical steps to develop trade and economic cooperation with Iran.

“The Pakistani government has decided to help cross-border trade between the two countries,” he said.

He also stressed the need to use the capacities of cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad in regional and international forums towards strengthening bilateral interactions, trade, investment, security and other areas of mutual interest.

Referring to the developments in Afghanistan and the need for peace in the neighboring country of Iran and Pakistan, Qureshi said that Afghanistan’s security and stability are the key to peace in the region, and underscored the need for the promotion of intra-Afghan dialogue by Afghanistan’s leaders and other stakeholders in the country who can help restore peace in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani foreign minister also stressed the importance of establishing peace and security at borders and stressed that his country would not allow any hostile actions against Iran.

Also present at the meeting between the two delegations were the two countries’ special representatives on Afghanistan as well as the two countries’ ambassadors.

Following his meetings during his two-day visit to Pakistan, Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter page that he had held “fruitful” talks on different issues, including border commerce and security as well as barter trade. 

Detailed and fruitful talks in #Pakistan on border commerce and security, as well as barter trade.

Heading a political-economic delegation, Zarif arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to discuss bilateral and regional issues with Pakistani officials.

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