Bilawal reassures Pakistan’s keen desire to strengthen bilateral relations with Iran

TEHRAN: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday met President of Iran Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi and told him that he is a child of Iran as much as he is  a child of Pakistan.

The Iranian state news agency shared a picture of the two leaders and stated that during the meeting Bilawal told President Raisi: “As much as I am a child of Pakistan, I am also a child of Iran.”

Bilawal, according to state run APP, reaffirmed Pakistan’s keen desire to strengthen bilateral relations, which are rooted deep in shared history and commonalities of faith, culture and heritage.

The foreign minister, who is on a two-day official visit to Iran, also conveyed greetings to President Raisi on behalf of Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and reiterated the official invitation to him to visit Pakistan at his convenience.

He highlighted the importance of regular exchanges to advance economic and energy cooperation, regional connectivity, operationalisation of barter trade and border sustenance marketplaces, and facilitation of pilgrims visiting Iran.

The foreign minister also took up the issue of the release/transfer of Pakistani prisoners detained in Iranian prisons.

President Raisi welcomed the foreign minister and underscored that the two nations were bound by close historic linkages and strong fraternal ties.

He noted that Iran attached great importance to its economic and trade relations with Pakistan, which had considerable potential for further growth.

Earlier in the day, the foreign minister held a private discussion with his Iranian counterpart followed by delegation-level talks.

Foreign Minister Dr Amir Abdollahian also hosted a working luncheon in honour of Bilawal and his delegation. A joint press stakeout was also held by the two foreign ministers.

During the discussions, the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including expansion of economic relations and trade volume, additional electricity import from Iran for Makran Division in Balochistan, and effective border coordination to address security issues, smuggling, drug trafficking and transnational crimes.

The foreign minister also underscored the need to hold the next session of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in August 2022.

Both sides exchanged views on the regional security situation, with particular focus on developments in Afghanistan and the Indian occupied Kashmir .

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated the Iranian leadership’s steadfast support for the just cause of Kashmiri Muslims.