President Mamnoon Hussain meets Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani
Islamabad—President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday said the lifting of international economic and financial sanctions against Iran, would pave the way for greater economic, trade and business relations between Pakistan and Iran.
He emphasized that all possible efforts should be made to enhance Iran-Pakistan trade and economic relations and expressed the optimism that the two countries would achieve the bilateral trade target of $ 5 billion for mutual benefit.
The President expressed these views during his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, among others, were also present during the meeting.
The President said that Iran was not only Pakistan’s good friend and neighbour but a brother state, adding that friendship between the two countries was rooted in shared history, culture and faith.
He hoped that the visit of Iranian President would be a milestone in bilateral relations and would lead to further strengthening of ties in diverse areas between two countries.
The President said that energy deficit was a major issue in Pakistan and it was top priority of the government to overcome electricity shortage as soon as possible and called for increased cooperation in energy sector.
He observed that after lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, bilateral collaboration in the field of energy would enhance at a faster pace.
The President suggested that the two brotherly countries should increase their cooperation in the fields of defence, science and information technology to take their relationship to new heights.
He highlighted the importance of better connectivity in the region and urged for air, road and rail networks for regional integration.
The President reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to eradicate extremism and terrorism and said that the Zarb-e-Azb operation will continue till elimination of the last terrorist which will help establish peace, not only in Pakistan but in the entire region.
He said that Government of Pakistan was implementing its National Action Plan to get rid of terrorism and to have peace not only in Pakistan but the whole region.
The President informed that Pakistan was sincerely pursuing the vision of peaceful neighbourhood and wished to have friendly relations with all neighbours including India.
He underlined that the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute was essential for improvement in ties with India and urged that sustained and uninterrupted dialogue was the best way to promote bilateral relations and address each other’s concerns.
The President emphasized that peace in Afghanistan was necessary adding that Pakistan was trying its utmost to facilitate reconciliation in Afghanistan in the format of Quadrilateral Coordination Group, comprising Afghanistan- Pakistan-China and the United States.
President Mamnoon Hussain felicitated the President of Iran on the successful and peaceful conduct of elections of the Parliament (Majlis) and the Assembly of Experts of the Islamic Republic of Iran, adding that his election to the Assembly of Experts reflects confidence of the people in his sagacious leadership.
He also congratulated the President of Iran on Nowruz and apprised that Nowruz was also celebrated with great zeal and zest in some parts of Pakistan.
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani said that Iran was ready to assist Pakistan in overcoming its energy needs and expand economic cooperation to the benefit of both the countries.
President Rouhani expressed his happiness on being in Pakistan and said that both brotherly countries should cooperate with each other in every sphere.
Earlier, the Iranian President was warmly received on his arrival at Aiwan-e-Sadr by President Mamnoon Hussain and children clad in traditional dress presented bouquet to him.
The President also hosted a luncheon in honour of the President of Iran and his delegation at the Aiwan-e-Sadr which was attended by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, Federal Ministers, Governors of KPK and Gilgit-Baltistan, President of AJK, Chief Minister Balochistan, parliamentarians, diplomats, and high ranking government officials.
After the luncheon, a band of Pakistan Army played delightful tunes which were appreciated by the visiting dignitary.