Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari calls on the President of Iran

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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is on a two-day official visit to Iran, called on the President of Iran, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, at his office in Tehran today.

The Foreign Minister conveyed greetings to President Raisi on behalf of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and reiterated the official invitation to him to visit Pakistan at his convenience.

The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s keen desire to strengthen bilateral relations, which are rooted deep in shared history and commonalities of faith, culture and heritage. He highlighted the importance of regular exchanges to advance economic and energy cooperation, regional connectivity, operationalization of barter trade and border sustenance marketplaces, and facilitation of Zaireen visiting Iran for pilgrimage.

The Foreign Minister also took up the issue of release/transfer of Pakistani prisoners detained in Iranian prisons.

President Raisi welcomed the Foreign Minister and underscored that the two nations were bound by close historic linkages and strong fraternal ties. He noted that Iran attached great importance to its economic and trade relations with Pakistan, which had considerable potential for further growth.

Earlier during the day, the Foreign Minister held tête-à-tête with his Iranian counterpart followed by delegation-level talks. Foreign Minister Dr. Amir Abdollahian also hosted a working luncheon in honour of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his delegation. A joint press stakeout was also held by the two Foreign Ministers.

During the discussions, the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including expansion of economic relations and trade volume, additional electricity import from Iran for Makran Division in Balochistan, and effective border coordination to address the security issues, smuggling, drug trafficking and transnational crimes.

The Foreign Minister also underscored the need to hold the next session of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in August 2022.

Both sides also exchanged views on regional security situation, with particular focus on developments in Afghanistan and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated the Iranian leadership’s steadfast support for the just cause of Kashmiri Muslims.

The Foreign Minister’s visit to Iran is part of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. The last meeting between the two Foreign Ministers was held on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos on 26 May 2022.