Qureshi seeks enhanced Pakistan-Iran bilateral economic cooperation

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DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday emphasized the importance of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Qureshi said that Pakistan attaches high importance to our bilateral relations with Iran which are rooted in shared history, interests and proximity.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues, particularly the Afghan peace process.

The two foreign ministers also reviewed progress on the opening of a new border crossing point.

Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to develop joint border markets, the two foreign ministers agreed on the need to expeditiously finalize the arrangement to facilitate legal trade and improve livelihood in the border region.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the historic opportunity to work out an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement.

Qureshi underlined the need to consolidate the progress achieved in the Doha process and take the process forward.

Expressing concern on a high level of violence, he underscored the importance of reduction in the violence leading to a ceasefire.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi also underlined the need to be cognisant of “spoilers”, who did not wish to see the return of peace and stability in the region.

The foreign minister added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would help in improving connectivity and promote infrastructure development in the region.

Qureshi expressed thanks for Iran’s steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to counter Islamophobia and promote inter-faith harmony.

The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in close contact and maintain bilateral political exchanges.

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