Iranian FM due today on 4-day visit

Iranian foreign minister in Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani leadership

Iranian foreign minister in Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani leadership

Zarif further expressed hope that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project on which Iran has invested $2 billion will come to an ideal conclusion.

Prime Minister Abbasi emphasized the need to deepen connectivity to harness benefits from regional economic integration.

The importance of peace in Afghanistan for stability and economic progress of the region was also discussed.

Addressing the forum, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in the seventy-year friendship both Pakistan and Iran stood by each other in hard times.

He is visiting Pakistan in response to his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif's visit to Iran last September.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi meet in Islamabad on March 12, 2018.

Dr Jawad Zarif also appreciated Pakistan's efforts for strengthening the border management to prevent illegal cross-border activities.

The official also suggested holding joint trade fairs and exhibitions in order to facilitate the interactions and acquaintance of the two countries businessmen.

Zarif and Asif also discussed peace process in Afghanistan, cooperation in banking and energy sectors, Iran's supply of electricity to Pakistan, cooperation between Iranian and Pakistani ports of Chabahar and Gwadar and the development of border markets.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Zarif's visit was "part of regular bilateral political consultations held between both sides".

The two countries are continuing to face challenges in ties despite the apparent improvement in them since Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's trip to Tehran late previous year.

Speaking to journalists, Zarif said Iran's relations with Pakistan's regional rival India are not aimed against Pakistan.

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