Pakistan, Iran reiterate resolve to further strengthen bilateral ties

Pakistan and Iran have reiterated the resolve to further strengthen bilateral relations in all dimensions.

This was stated by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari while addressing joint news conference alongside his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Tuesday.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Iran is an important neighbor and brother of Pakistan and building close relations with Iran remains our high priority.

He said during his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister, they took stock of entire gamut of bilateral relations and identified ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations in trade, investment, connectivity, border management, facilitation of Zaireen, cultural and educational cooperation and enhancing people to people contacts.

The Foreign Minister said we have come closer to resolving one of the major obstacles in expanding trade through operationalization of party trade mechanism, formalization of cross border exchanges through opening new border crossings and promotion of trade through cross border markets.

Reiterating the commitment to enhance commercial and economic activities for prosperity of the two peoples, the Foreign Minister said we have also committed to enhance energy cooperation by importing additional electricity from Iran.

He said during his meeting with 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 Zaireen, the Foreign Minister said he discussed additional facilities for Zaireen.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said we also discussed 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 said we have agreed that 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 Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He expressed gratitude to the Iranian leadership s steadfast support for the just cause of Kashmiri people.

The Foreign Minister 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 said 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 we 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.

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