ISLAMABAD: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Iranian leadership will not allow anyone to use its soil against Pakistan. Zarif is in the country on a three-day official visit.
Speaking to journalists, the Iranian envoy said that Iran’s relations with India were not aimed against Pakistan in any way.
Zarif also invited Pakistan and China to invest in the Chabahar port which was strategically situated at the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz, saying that both countries would need to cooperate to put an end to terrorism in the region.
Zarif, who arrived in Pakistan early on Monday morning, received a warm welcome by senior officials of the foreign ministry at Islamabad airport.
The Iranian foreign minister was heading a 30-member delegation which would hold talks on several bilateral issues with political and business leaders of Pakistan.
During the meetings, the Iranian delegation would discuss matters pertaining to trade, energy, culture, and people-to-people contacts, besides, discussing other important matters of mutual interest.
Zarif was also expected to hold meetings with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Further, The Iranian foreign minister would also hold meetings with the Pakistani leadership and address a think tank on the mutual relations between Pakistan and Iran.
While addressing the Pak-Iran Business Forum, the Iranian foreign minister informed that there had been a 50 per cent increase in trade between Pakistan and Iran since the last year.
“Together, we can move towards a free trade agreement,” he said, adding that Pakistan and Iran were the leading industrial countries among Muslim states.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also weighed in on the topic and remarked that the trade activities between Pakistan and Iran had increased in the past two years.
“Trade with Iran has increased by one billion dollars,” said Asif. On the other hand, Zarif said that extremism and terrorism were the offshoots of extreme poverty and the problem could only be tackled through consistent economic growth.
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