Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

In Islamabad, Zarif says Iran seeks free trade with Pakistan

In Islamabad, Zarif says Iran seeks free trade with Pakistan

The premier said Pakistan believed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was vital for economic progress of the region.

During a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi emphasised the need for Pakistan and Iran to work together "in all earnest" to reach the $5 billion trade target by 2021, RadioPak reported on Monday.

The neighbouring country's top diplomat is in Pakistan for talks with the Pakistani leadership during his visit.

He was warmly welcomed by senior officials of Foreign Ministry at Islamabad Airport.

During the meetings, the Iranian delegation will discuss matters pertaining to trade, energy, culture, people to people contacts besides discussing other matters of mutual interest.

The prime minister vowed to remove all obstacles that were hindering the progress of the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project.

Pakistan and Iran have had close ties, but tensions rose recently when Pakistan said it was sending a "contingent of troops" to train and advise Tehran's bitter rival, Saudi Arabia, which is fighting against Iran-allied Huthi rebels in Yemen.

After attending political and economic gatherings in the Pakistani capital during the three-day visit, which is especially geared towards enhancing bilateral trade, Zarif is expected to travel to the business and industrial hub of Karachi, where further economic talks have been scheduled.

Zarif also remarked that extremism and terrorism spread due to poverty.

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