Imran urges Pakistan-Iran must further strengthen bilateral ties Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif calls on COAS Gen Bajwa, FM Qureshi


Staff Reporter


Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan and Iran enjoy close and cordial relations and the two countries must further strengthen bilateral coo-peration for their mutual benefit.
Talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif in Islamabad on Wednes-day, he also empha-sized the need for enhanced bilateral cooperation with special emphasis on bilateral trade and economic relations. He underscored the need to work closely for promoting peace, security and devel-opment in the region.
Highlighting Paki-stan’s efforts towards facilitating peace and stability in Afghani-stan, the Prime Min-ister said there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
He reaffirmed Paki-stan’s support for Afghan-led and Af-ghan-owned peace process and hoped that this historic op-portunity would be seized by all Afghan parties to secure a political settlement.
Imran Khan further said that that peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region as it would create new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation as well as regional connec-tivity.
He also reaffirmed Iran’s steadfast sup-port for the Kashmir cause.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed regional security as former called on COAS at the army’s General Headquaters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. The Iranian minister arrived in Islamabad late Tuesday on an official visit to discuss matters of mutual interest between the two states. He is scheduled to meet PM Imran Khan as well. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Zarif discussed matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including Afghan reconciliation process, Pak-Iran border management and border markets. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bajwa said that enhanced Pakistan-Iran cooperation will have positive impact on regional peace and stability. Zarif appreciated Pakistan’s positive role for regional stability, especially Afghan peace process and pledged to keep working for better relations between two brotherly countries
Pakistan and Iran have agreed to make joint efforts for peace and stability in the region, including Afghanistan, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday. The understanding was reached during a meeting in Islamabad with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, who is currently visiting the country for talks on regional issues in addition to reviewing bilateral ties.
During the meeting, Qureshi said Pakistan and Iran can benefit from regional and other important forums for promoting cooperation in bilateral trade, investment, security and other areas of mutual interest, the Radio Pakistan report said.
He added that durable peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and stability in the region. He said the Afghan leadership had a unique opportunity in the form of intra-Afghan dialogue and urged them to not let it go.
The two foreign ministers also expressed concern over rising Islamophobia in some European countries and made it clear that a blasphemous attitude, under the guise of freedom of expression, is not acceptable at all.