Iran to expand economic ties with Pakistan: Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Iran intends to expand economic cooperation with Pakistan, along with increasing regional cooperation and carrying out joint efforts in the fight against extremism and terrorism.
Addressing a joint press conference during his day-long visit to Pakistan on Thursday, following a round of talks at the Foreign Office with prime minster's adviser Sartaj Aziz, the visiting foreign minister said "both countries need to exploit the wide array of options available in economic cooperation, following the lifting of sanctions linked to Tehran's nuclear programme".
Zarif said that during the discussions, both sides reviewed the regional situation and extremism.
"Iran hopes for a positive outcome from the talks between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government being mediated by Pakistan, which will help bring peace in the region," he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security Sartaj Aziz said that views on regional and international issues of mutual interest were also exchanged during the meeting. "We agreed that enhancing bilateral collaboration in the energy sector was one of the major areas of mutually beneficial cooperation," Aziz said. Progress on the IranPakistan gas pipeline was also emphasised, he added.
Sartaj further said that economic integration and connectivity within the region should be improved in order to achieve better economic and commercial activity "not just between our two countries but all the neighbouring countries as well".
He also said that Pakistan welcomes the agreement on nuclear deal, hoping that it will lead to peace on an international level. Earlier, the top Iranian diplomat arrived at PM House and discussed bilateral ties with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also took the premier into confidence over the recent nuclear deal between the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Zarif also held formal talks with Sartaj Aziz at the Foreign Office where all aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries were reviewed.