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Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:55AM
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has censured the unilateral Western sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear energy program. The Pakistani foreign minister said on Tuesday that her country abides by international rules and regulations but is against any unilateral sanctions imposed on “any country." Rabbani Khar made the remarks ahead of the eighth summit of the Group of Eight Developing Countries (D8) scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 22, 2012. Since the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union have imposed illegal sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian crude and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The sanctions entered into force in early summer 2012. On October 15, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran says its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for civilian purposes. Rabbani Khar further underlined the necessity for boosting trade among the D8 member states. She said the current volume of trade between the group’s member countries stand at USD 130 billion, adding that the figure will increase to USD 507 billion over the next ten years. The D8 group comprises Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to travel to Pakistan to attend the D8 summit, during which Pakistan will assume the rotational presidency of the D8 until 2014. YH/HMV/HJL
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