FM Qureshi heads to Iran on second leg of regional tour

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ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday flew to Iran on an official visit at the invitation of Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif after wrapping up his tour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Qureshi will stay in Tehra, till April 22 before leaving for Qatar. He will also visit Turkey as part of his four-nation tour.

During the Iran visit, the Foreign Minister will have delegation-level talks with Foreign Minister Zarif. He will also call on President Dr. Hassan Rouhani and Speaker of the Parliament Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. The Foreign Minister will also visit the city of Mashhad.

During the delegation-level talks, the two Foreign Ministers would review bilateral relations with a view to further deepening cooperation in diverse fields. The two sides will discuss regional security situation including the latest developments in the Afghan Peace Process and the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. They will also deliberate on strengthening regional cooperation under the umbrella of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

Foreign Minister Qureshi’s visit to Iran is part of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. Foreign Minister Zarif visited Pakistan in November 2020 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Qureshi, while the two Foreign Ministers met on 30 March 2021 on the sidelines of 9th session of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi last visited Iran in January 2020.

Qureshi’s UAE Tour

On Monday, Qureshi said that Pakistan never evaded talks and wants to live in peace with all its neighbours including India.

The FM’s remarks came while speaking at a news conference in UAE where he reached on April 17 for a three-day official visit.

“Both India and Pakistan will have to think about their bilateral ties,” the foreign minister said.

“Pakistan is ready to talk with India if it takes back its steps of August 5. Pakistan cannot ignore the Kashmir issue.”

FM Qureshi added Pakistan desired peace in the region as peace would ensure better economy and more economic opportunities will be created.

“Visit to the United Arab Emirates will strengthen existing bilateral ties between the two countries,” he added.

He further added that the government wanted to give the right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis and it is consulting with other political parties on the issue.

He also met with his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan and other UAE dignitaries in Abu Dhabi today.

Talking to UAE Senior Minister and Commissioner General International Expo 2020 Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nayhan in Abu Dhabi, FM Qureshi said Pakistan greatly valued its decade-old relations with the UAE and was committed to further strengthen ties.