Iran to ex­pand eco­nomic ties with Pak­istan: Javad Zarif

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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