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Iran FM urges closer ties with Islamabad in talks with Pakistan parliament speaker

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in Islamabad, August 30, 2018. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran and Pakistan have emphasized their will to bolster neighborly relations in all areas, especially in the fight against terrorism, as Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif pays an official visit to Islamabad for high-level talks.

Upon arrival in the Pakistani capital on Thursday, Zarif held a meeting with the country's newly-elected National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, with the two officials exchanging views on issues of common interest.

During the meeting, Zarif praised brotherly relations between the two neighbors and called for closer Tehran-Islamabad cooperation under the new administration of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Iran seeks "the best and strongest of ties with its neighbor, Pakistan," Zarif told the Pakistani parliament head.

The top Iranian diplomat further hailed Islamabad for taking measures to promote the fight against terrorism, saying, "We see Pakistan as Iran's partner [in efforts] to establish lasting peace in the region."

Qaiser, in turn, called for a stronger unity among Muslim countries, saying that Pakistan attaches great significance to neighboring Iran in line with that goal.

The two senior officials also explored ways to promote Tehran-Islamabad ties at regional and international levels in various fields, especially the battle against terrorism and extremism.

Zarif and the officials accompanying him became the first foreign delegation to visit Pakistan since the inauguration of Imran Khan.

During his two-day stay, the Iranian foreign minister is slated to sit down with high-ranking Pakistani officials, including Imran Khan, his counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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