Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with senior Iranian officials on issues of mutual interest and the latest regional security developments.
A statement by Pakistan’s Embassy in Tehran said Qureshi’s visit is taking place at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
During his three-day visit, Qureshi will hold delegation-level talks with Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. He will also travel to the holy city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran.
The two foreign ministers will “review bilateral relations with a view to further deepening cooperation in diverse fields,” the statement said.
Regional security situation including the latest developments in the Afghan peace process and the Jammu & Kashmir dispute will also be on the agenda.
“They will also deliberate on strengthening regional cooperation under the umbrella of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).”
During the visit, the third official border crossing between Iran and Pakistan will open in the Iranian town of Pishin and the Pakistani town of Mand on Wednesday.
According to the statement, Qureshi’s visit to Iran “is part of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries” which comes on the heels of visit by Zarif to Pakistan in November 2020.
The two foreign ministers met in March 2021 on the sidelines of the 9th session of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Qureshi last visited Iran in January 2020.
Prior to his departure for Tehran on Tuesday, the Pakistani foreign minister shed light on the objectives and purposes of the visit in a video message.
In the message, Qureshi thanked his Iranian counterpart for visiting Pakistan several times, saying the visits helped the two neighbors hold crucial meetings, Press TV wrote.
“There have been several developments in the Afghan peace process,” the minister said. “Being neighbors to Afghanistan, the peace process is equally important for Iran.”
He emphasized that he would be informed about Iran’s views in this regard so that “the two sides will be able to develop a focus of strategy following talks.”
Qureshi expressed gratitude for Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for his clear stance on the Kashmir issue.
“We will also talk about progressing with regard to the bilateral relations. Iran had expressed interest in Pakistan’s proposal of border markets, and we would talk about it, too,” the Pakistani foreign minister said.
He added that Iran is not only a neighbor of Pakistan but also a tested friend, saying, “We have always supported each other in difficult times.”
“We will be in efforts to cement the existing bilateral relations and bring stability in them,” Qureshi said.
At a recent meeting with top Pakistani media figures and researchers, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed hope that the sanctions against Tehran will be lifted, saying the Islamic Republic of Iran has the capacity to turn into an economic power in the region.