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Iranian Prez Raisi and Pak PM Sharif agree on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism months after tit-for-tat air strikes

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ISLAMABAD, April 22: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Monday agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism as they discussed ways to promote cooperation between their countries, months after the two neighbours carried out tit-for-tat air strikes against alleged terrorist hideouts on rival lands.

Raisi, the first head of state of any country to visit Pakistan after the February 8 general elections, was welcomed by PM Sharif at the Prime Minister House where the Iranian leader inspected the Guard of Honour.

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During their talks, President Raisi and Prime Minister Sharif agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

It added that the two leaders also held discussions to increase trade and communication links between their countries.

Addressing a joint press conference, Iranian President Raisi said that the existing bilateral trade volume was “not acceptable” and added that Iran and Pakistan have decided to increase the trade volume to USD 10 billion.

“We are committed to strengthening relations at high levels….Economic and trade volume between Iran and Pakistan is not acceptable. We have decided as a first step to increase trade volume between our two countries to $10bn,” Raisi said.

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On his part, Sharif called for strengthening Pak-Iran ties despite challenges. “We have to keep this relationship strong despite the challenges we both face,” he said.

Sharif said he had detailed discussions with President Raisi on “religious, cultural, diplomatic, investment, and security matters” during their meeting.

He described Raisi as an “ocean of political intelligence and wisdom”, and said Iran would progress further under his leadership.

“Pakistan and Iran can prosper and our borders can see progress,” Sharif said, expressing hope that the shared border can adapt for trade and business.

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He expressed hope for the relationship between the neighbours to be “firm and stable”, noting that today was an opportunity to “make this friendship a happy and prosperous one”.

Prime Minister Sharif and President Raisi planted a tree on the lawn of the Prime Minister House as the world marked Earth Day on Monday.

Sharif was quoted as saying that the entire nation welcomed the Iranian president’s visit while Raisi expressed gratitude to the premier for the warm welcome accorded to him, Radio Pakistan reported.

Raisi, who arrived in Pakistan on a three-day official visit to promote cooperation, was accorded a warm welcome at the Islamabad Airport and was received by Housing Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran Mudassir Tipu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on social media platform X.

The Iranian president is accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister and other members of the Cabinet and senior officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Soon after Raisi’s arrival, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar called on the Iranian president in Islamabad, where they discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and global developments, Radio Pakistan reported.

Raisi and Dar “emphasised the importance of enhanced efforts to further consolidate bilateral relations in diverse fields”, it said, adding that they also “affirmed commitment to peace and constructive dialogue for resolving regional challenges”.

President Raisi has an extensive programme in Pakistan and is scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani and Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq.

He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership, the Foreign Office said.

“The two leaders will participate in a ceremony regarding naming a highway in Islamabad as Iran Avenue,” Radio Pakistan earlier said, adding that the prime minister would also host a lunch for the Iranian president and his delegation.

“The two sides will have a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran ties and enhance cooperation in diverse fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” according to the FO statement.

The talks will focus on regional and global developments and bilateral cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism.

Pakistan and Iran enjoy strong bilateral ties anchored in history, culture and religion. This visit provides an important opportunity to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran relations, according to the Foreign Office.

Raisi is visiting Pakistan months after the cordial ties between the two neighbours suffered a setback when Tehran shocked Islamabad by carrying out airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts in the restive Balochistan province in January.

Pakistan swiftly responded by using killer drones and rockets to carry out “precision military strikes” against what it called “terrorist hideouts” in Iran’s Siestan-Balochistan province, killing 9 people.

However, the two sides acted fast to restrain tempers through diplomatic channels. Raisi’s visit is expected to further cement their ties. (PTI)

 

 

 

 

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The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
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