Pak for strengthening ties with Iran in energy sector: Bilawal

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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said Pakistan was committed to strengthening its cooperation with Iran in energy sector through the import of additional electricity.

Addressing a press conference in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Bilawal elaborated on their discussion. He said their dialogue took stock of the “entire gauntlet” of bilateral relations and identified ways to enhance them further in order to match their true potential in areas such as trade, investment, connectivity, border management, cultural and education cooperation.

On trade, the foreign minister said he was “glad” that Pakistan and Iran had come closer to resolving one of the major obstacles in the expansion of bilateral trade through the operationalisation of barter trade mechanism, formalisation of cross-border exchanges through the opening of new border crossings and promotion of trade through border market places. He said such steps were “measures of our shared commitment to the provision of opportunities for enhanced economic and commercial activities that’ll benefit the people of Iran and Pakistan”, adding that they would help in improving the livelihood and welfare of people at the border areas. FM Bilawal said he discussed with Amir-Abdollahian the possibility of exchanging prisoners under the existing legal framework so they could complete their sentences in their own countries.

The foreign minister also appreciated Iran’s hospitality and facilitation of Pakistani pilgrims, adding that there were talks on the provision of further services for the pilgrims which formed a “bond of friendship” between the two countries. On the international front, Bilawal said they discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and agreed that “Afghans must be supported at this critical juncture, including through access to frozen financial assets.”