Home Latest News Iran President Leaves Pakistan at End of 3-Day Visit

Iran President Leaves Pakistan at End of 3-Day Visit

Foreign Office says neighboring countries held ‘productive discussions’ during visit and agreed to advance bilateral cooperation in multiple domains

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday concluded his three-day visit to Pakistan, where he spent time in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, before departing for Sri Lanka for the next leg of his South Asia tour.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of the visit, the Foreign Office said the Pakistani and Iranian sides held “productive discussions and agreed to advance bilateral cooperation in multiple domains, including in trade, connectivity, energy and people-to-people contacts.”

On the first day of his visit, Monday, Raisi addressed a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, with both sides committing to increasing their trade volume to $10 billion over the next five years. He also met President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Asim Munir, with whom the visiting dignitary discussed regional stability and border security.

Raisi and Sharif also witnessed the signing of eight agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in various fields and jointly inaugurated a section of Islamabad’s 11th Avenue, which was renamed to Iran Avenue.

Following the Islamabad leg of his trip, Raisi reached Lahore on Tuesday morning, visiting the mausoleum of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and GC University, where he addressed a gathering of students and faculty. He also held meetings with C.M. Maryam Nawaz and Governor Balighur Rehman.

In a brief address, Raisi said he did not feel “alienated” in Pakistan, stressing the people of the country have a special affinity with Iran. He also said he wished to hold a public gathering in Pakistan, but was unable to do so for some reasons.

Later the same day, the Iranian president traveled to Karachi, where he addressed a ceremony at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, stressing no power in the world could disrupt bilateral relations between Islamabad and Tehran. He stressed that ties between the neighboring states were built on history, culture and religion. He also said Tehran was ready to exchange its prowess in industry, science, and technology with Pakistan.

Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, during Raisi’s visit, awarded him an honorary degree of doctorate in philosophy (PhD) in recognition of his services for further bolstering ties between the two nations.

Raisi’s visit occurred amidst Middle East tensions triggered by Iran launching a missile and drone attack on Israel, who apparently retaliated with drone strikes on central Iran. Tehran has played down the attack, indicating it has no plans for retaliation, by maintaining it has no evidence that Israel perpetrated the assault.

The visiting dignitary’s was also significant for Pakistan, as the neighboring nations are striving to revive ties dented by tit-for-tat missile strikes in January. Initially, Iran targeted an anti-Iran group based in Balochistan province, with Pakistan retaliating with airstrikes on “militant targets” in Sistan-Balochistan province. The neighboring nations are also attempting to complete a long-pending gas pipeline project though concerns persist over the U.S. threat of sanctions if it proceeds.

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