Source: Pakistan Today
TEHRAN/ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari landed in Tehran on a two-day visit — from June 14 to June 15 — on Tuesday, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
There, he will hold talks with host dignitaries on a range of issues, including bilateral ties, trade, regional security and Islamophobia.
This is Zardari’s first official visit to Iran after assuming office in April. He is visiting the neighbouring nation at the invitation of his Iran counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who welcomed him on his arrival.
APP also shared a video of Zardari sitting with Abdollahian and other dignitaries soon after his arrival.
The foreign minister will also hold a meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi, the Foreign Office said.
During the delegation-level talks, the two nations will review all facets of bilateral relations, including trade and economic ties, electricity supply from Iran, border sustenance markets, road and rail connectivity, and facilitation of pilgrims, it said.
Both sides will also review the regional security situation with a particular focus on developments in Afghanistan and South Asia.
The Foreign Office said that Pakistan and Iran enjoy close cooperative ties, based on shared geography, cultural affinities, and historic people-to-people linkages.
“These fraternal relations have been further strengthened through frequent high-level exchanges,” said the statement.
Zardari had shared similar views with the official Iranian news outlet IRNA a day before leaving for Iran, during an informal talk with journalists.
“Iran is our neighbour and in Islam, neighbours have rights. We believe that relations between [the] people of Pakistan and Iran, including cultural and spiritual, are historic,” he had said.
The foreign minister had added that economic cooperation and coordination between the two countries had much potential to be explored and exploited.
On the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the Peace pipeline, Zardari said: “Its foundation was laid by former president Asif Ali Zardari and we would want international obligations, their framework and the deal to progress so that we can unlock the potential in our relations further.”
Pakistan wants to construct a 1,100-kilometre gas pipeline, known as the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project, from Port Qasim in Karachi, in Sindh, to Kasur in Punjab. The $2.5 billion project is tentatively slated to begin next year, though an initial agreement was first signed in 2015 and a second in 2021.