ISLAMABAD – Javad Zarif, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and conveyed to him the greetings and best wishes of the people and leadership of Iran on assuming office.
Zarif stated that Iran wished continued progress and prosperity to the people of Pakistan.
The minister delivered a message of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, inviting the Prime Minister for the upcoming Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Iran, in October 2018. Both Pakistan and Iran are members of the organization. Iran currently holds the Chair of the organization.
Welcoming the Foreign Minister, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Iranian Supreme Leader’s support for Kashmiri’s struggle for self-determination as well as for the manner in which Pakistan Independence Day was celebrated in Iran.
PM Imran thanked the Iranian envoy for the sincere wishes. Recalling his recent telephonic conversation with President Rouhani, the premier said that Pakistan and Iran were connected by inseparable bonds of historic, religious and cultural affinities. He added that during his tenure, Pakistan would make all efforts to cement these relations in various areas to the benefit of both countries.
Khan also emphasized on restoring complete peace and stability in the region. As land bridges between economically resource-rich regions, together with other regional partners, Pakistan and Iran remained the key to growth and prosperity in the region through enhancing connectivity and promoting people to people linkages.
Referring to cancellation of blasphemous Dutch caricatures competition following Government of Pakistan’s strong condemnation and protest recently, the PM underlined the need for the Muslim countries to confront Islamophobia with one voice. “The love and respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is part of every Muslim’s faith and no one can be allowed to disrespect it,” he added.
Foreign Minister of Iran H.E. Mr. Javad Zarif also congratulated the FM @SMQureshiPTI that Pakistan’s strong protest against the blasphemous caricature competition had led to cancellation of the event. Muslim countries needed to confront Islamophobic tendencies with one voice. pic.twitter.com/F3w4usLxVK
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 31, 2018
Earlier on Friday, Zarif met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed regional security and other matters of mutual interest. “The visiting dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s contributions for conflict prevention in the region,” a statement, issued by the military’s media wing said.
“Regional security situation and other matters of mutual interest were discussed. COAS said Pakistan is taking sincere steps for peace and security in the region,” it said.
Zarif and the officials accompanying him yesterday became the first foreign delegation to visit Pakistan since the inauguration of Imran Khan.
After arrival in Islamabad, he held a meeting with the country’s newly-elected National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, with the two officials exchanging views on issues of common interest.
Zarif praised brotherly relations between the two neighbours and called for closer Tehran-Islamabad cooperation under the new administration of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Iran seeks “the best and strongest of ties with its neighbor, Pakistan,” Zarif told the Pakistani parliament head.
The top Iranian diplomat further hailed Islamabad for taking measures to promote the fight against terrorism, saying, “We see Pakistan as Iran’s partner [in efforts] to establish lasting peace in the region.”
Qaiser called for a stronger unity among Muslim countries, saying that Pakistan attaches great significance to neighboring Iran in line with that goal.
The two senior officials also explored ways to promote Tehran-Islamabad ties at regional and international levels in various fields, especially the battle against terrorism and extremism.