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Iran president in Pakistan to bolster security, trade ties

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (L) walks along with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (R) to inspect his guard of honor in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 22, 2024.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has arrived in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on a key official visit aimed at promoting security and trade ties.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Raeisi arrived in Islamabad on Monday on a two-leg visit which will also take him to Sri Lanka. He was welcomed by Pakistani Minister of Housing and Works Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and a number of officials upon his arrival.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the Iranian president. During the ceremony, the national anthems of the two countries were played and the Iranian president reviewed a guard of honor of the Pakistan Armed Forces.

Immediately after the ceremony, Raeisi and Sharif held a private meeting. The Iranian president and Pakistani prime minister will co-chair a session of the two countries' high-ranking delegations.

Before leaving Tehran for Islamabad on Monday morning, Raeisi said Iran considers Pakistan's security as its own, saying that promotion of security along the border with Pakistan will benefit both nations.

The Iranian president said the regional tour to Pakistan and Sri Lank also aims to boost economic and trade ties.

“In line with its neighborliness policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to take new steps to develop and promote relations with neighboring countries,” he added.

The president noted that Iran has deep-rooted, civilizational and historical relations with Pakistan as one of the most important countries in South Asia.

Tehran and Islamabad have always attached importance to political and economic ties as well as regional and extra-regional cooperation, Raeisi said.

Raeisi further emphasized that Tehran and Islamabad share the same stance on human rights, defending the oppressed Palestinian people, and fighting terrorism.

He noted that various topics, in particular economic and trade, energy and border issues, are on the agenda of his talks with Pakistani authorities.

He emphasized that the two neighboring countries aim to increase the value of their trade and economic exchanges to $10 billion given their great capacities.

The Iranian president also said that the expansion of economic and trade ties with Sri Lanka is among the goals of his trip to Colombo.

Pointing to the considerable growth in cooperation between the two countries in the technical and engineering sectors, Raeisi expressed hope that his visit will be a turning point in the promotion of ties between Iran and Sri Lanka.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) and Pakistani Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar (L) meet in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 22, 2024. (Photo by

Raeisi calls for closer ties to serve bilateral interests

In a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Monday, Raeisi said relations between Iran and Pakistan are beyond mere neighbors and are based on fraternity and deep and historical bonds.

The Iranian president added that foreign powers are not interested in the expansion of ties between the two neighboring states.

Given the great and numerous capacities of Tehran and Islamabad, the two sides should further develop ties to serve both nations’ interests, he emphasized.

He also said if all Muslim nations were united, Israel could not oppress the innocent and defenseless people of Palestine, particularly in Gaza.

Israel is abusing the discord among Muslim countries, he warned, adding, “Our strategy is unity against the enemy’s strategy of perpetuating the differences among the Islamic Ummah.”

The top Pakistani foreign minister, for his part, expressed his country’s readiness to improve broad cooperation with Iran.

Ishaq Dar said Muslim nations are in need of unity and solidarity more than ever before.

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