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Iran sees no restriction on expansion of ties with Pakistan, says FM Amir-Abdollahian

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (2nd L) meets with Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani (first R) in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 4, 2023.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the Islamic Republic observes absolutely no restriction on the expansion of all-out relations and cooperation with neighboring Pakistan in areas of common interest.

In remarks during a meeting with Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani in Islamabad on Thursday, Amir-Abdollahian described the current status of the bilateral relations as favorable and oriented towards further development.

He referred to the multi-billion gas pipeline between the two countries as one of the notable areas of bilateral cooperation, urging Pakistan to complete its part of the much-delayed project that has been on hold since 2014.

The project, launched in 2013, required Pakistan to finish the construction of the pipeline on its territory by the end of 2014.

But the work stalled, upsetting Tehran, which has said it already invested $2 billion in the pipeline on its side of the border.

Washington has opposed the pipeline, saying it could violate the illegal sanctions imposed on Tehran.

The Iranian foreign minister also underlined the importance of developing border trade between the two countries, calling for “timely” implementation of agreements on the expansion and completion of border terminals and markets. 

Amir-Abdollahian went on to say that Iran has also drawn up plans to set up free commercial and trade zones along its border areas with Pakistan.

For his part, Sanjrani described the current level of relations between Pakistan and Iran as “favorable,” adding that legislatures in the two countries act very harmoniously in international forums and adopt common positions.

He called Iran a powerful country with rich human and natural resources, emphasizing that Pakistan wishes greater prosperity for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Separately, the Iranian foreign minister conferred with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on promotion of mutual economic and commercial ties, stressing the need for stronger border ties between Tehran and Islamabad.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (2nd L) shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 4, 2023.

The two sides exchanged viewpoints on bilateral relations, and enhancement of economic and trade ties.

The top Iranian diplomat briefed the Pakistani prime minister on recently concluded agreements on promotion of all-round relations and development of economic cooperation and bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan.

Sharif, for his part, extended an invitation to Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi to visit Islamabad, expressing hope that Raeisi would be the first head of state to visit Pakistan after the upcoming general elections slated to be held in November.

The top Iranian diplomat also met with Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Asim Munir, who expressed his country’s determination to cooperate with Iran in the fight against terrorism.

Pakistan considers Iran’s security as its own security and remains steadfast in combating terrorism, the general stated.

He also hailed the results of his July visit to Tehran and meetings with senior officials, including Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, pointed to the agreements on the security and border issues, reached during his meetings with high-ranking Pakistani officials.

He noted that the Pakistani Army’s support for the bilateral security deals will help accelerate their implementation.

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