UNITED NATIONS – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani possibilities for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity, while noting with satisfaction the positive trajectory of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran.
“The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan’s energy shortages in the coming years,” said a press release of the Pakistan Mission to the UN.
“The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan’s energy shortages in the coming years”.
The prime minister was assisted by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, among others.
The two leaders had last met during President Rouhani’s visit to Islamabad this year.
The lifting of international sanctions against Iran has paved the way for resumption of economic relations between the two countries with a view to realizing the true potential of bilateral trade. Current trade volume remains low at US$ 268 million per annum.
In this regard, PM Sharif stressed on the need to remain engaged at expert level to remove whatever technical delays that continue to hold back resumption of full economic cooperation between the two countries.
The Iranian President, according to the press release, said that Pakistan’s security is security of Iran.
Opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity were also discussed. The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan’s energy shortages in the coming years.
The Iranian President said that Iran can install a power plant on border with Pakistan to supply electricity. “We consider Pakistan’s economic development as our development,” the president was quoted as saying.
“There is a need for defence cooperation between Iran and Pakistan as there is a history of defence cooperation between the two countries,” the president added.
“There is also immense need for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in the field of science and technology; we need to benefit from each others strong points in science and technology.”
The Prime Minister said that the hearts of the people of Pakistan and Iran beat together. “Iran is a brotherly country.
Our interests are same; we need to further consolidate our economic cooperation,” the prime minister said.
President Rouhani lauded the vision of the Prime Minister for translating CPEC into reality along with and expressed his desire to be part of the mega project.
Connectivity projects were recognized by both Pakistan and Iran as vital to the progress of the region, it was pointed out. In particular, according to the press release, the two leaders reiterated the complimentarity between Gwadar and Chabahar sea ports that could boost regional trade exponentially in the decades ahead.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that he will nominate two focal persons who will finalize energy projects with Iran in coming days.
Border management and security were also discussed, it said.
The Prime Minister apprised President Rouhani of Indian brutalities in Kashmir, particularly in the past two months.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of heinous acts of state sponsored terrorism at the hands of Indian occupation forces. The prime minister shared the latest situation in Kashmir, which continues to remain tense in the wake of the uprising that has surfaced in response to Indian barbaric acts in the valley.
PM Sharif also stressed on the need for building unity and cohesion within the Muslim world, particularly at a time of such great turmoil.
The Iranian President said that the future of Iran and Pakistan was bright. The President extended an invitation to visit Iran to the prime minister, who accepted with pleasure, saying he has great affection for Iranian brothers.