pakistan
Tuesday Jun 14 2022
By
Web Desk

Building close relations with Iran our top priority: Foreign Minister Bilawal

By
Web Desk
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L) and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addressing a joint press conference on June 14, 2022 in Tehran during the formers maiden visit to Iran. . — Radio Pakistan
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L) and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addressing a joint press conference on June 14, 2022 in Tehran during the former's maiden visit to Iran. . — Radio Pakistan

  • "We have come closer to resolving major obstacles in expanding trade," Bilawal says.
  • The foreign minister is in Iran on a two-day official visit.
  • He adds the two sides have also committed to enhancing energy cooperation.


TEHRAN: Pakistan and Iran on Tuesday reiterated the resolve to further strengthen bilateral relations in all dimensions during the maiden visit of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Radio Pakistan reported.

Addressing a joint news conference alongside his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran, the foreign minister said Iran is an important neighbour and brother of Pakistan and building close relations with Iran remains “our high priority”.

Bilawal, while sharing the details of his meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, said they took stock of the entire gamut of bilateral relations and identified ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations in trade, investment, connectivity, border management, facilitation of pilgrims, cultural and educational cooperation and enhancing people to people contacts.

“We have come closer to resolving one of the major obstacles in expanding trade through operationalisation of party trade mechanism, formalisation of cross border exchanges through opening new border crossings and promotion of trade through cross border markets,” said Bilawal.

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Reiterating the commitment to enhance commercial and economic activities for the prosperity of the two peoples, Bilawal said: “We have also committed to enhancing energy cooperation by importing additional electricity from Iran.”

He further added that during his meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, they also discussed the exchange of sentenced prisoners under the existing legal frameworks to allow them to complete their sentences in their respective countries.

Appreciating Iran's facilitation of Pakistani pilgrims, the foreign minister said he discussed additional facilities for pilgrims.

Bilawal said: “We also discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan especially the dire humanitarian saturation there as both Pakistan and Iran are directly affected by conflict and instability in Afghanistan.”

He stated that the two sides have agreed that the Afghan people should be supported including through access to frozen assets. He said the world expects from Afghan authorities a move towards inclusivity and an effective counter-terrorism action.

The foreign minister said he has briefed his Iranian counterpart about the serious human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).

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Bilawal said he also discussed the rising tide of Islamophobia and the recent derogatory remarks made by officials in India that deeply offended Muslims across the world. He revealed: “We have agreed that it is time for the international community to show common resolve against Islamophobia, Xenophobia and intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief.”

Referring to Iran's engagement with western partners on 2015 Nuclear Deal, the foreign minister said they look forward to the day when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reaches a conclusion that is right of the people of Iran and creates a more conducive environment.