Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said Pakistan wants to give a new impetus to its brotherly relations with Iran which were rooted in commonalities of history culture and religious affinities.
He was talking to visiting Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi who called on him here extended invitation to participate in 16th Non Aligned Movement NAM Summit in Tehran in August this year. Pak-Iran bilateral ties mutual cooperation, issues of shared concern and NAM Summit were discussed.
President thanked Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on extending him invitation and said NAM Summit was an important platform for exchanging views on important issues of mutual concern. He hoped it would be fruitful in deliberating regional, international issues, challenges and way forward in dealing with them. He also felicitated Iranian leadership for taking over NAM chairmanship.
He expressed satisfaction over upward trajectory being followed by Pak-Iran equation. The visit of President Ahmadinejad for Trilateral Summit in Pakistan provided impetus to existing relationship and further extending mutual cooperation in economic sphere energy trade, investment, road and rail connectivity.
President Zardari stressed need for both countries to take effective measures to realize US$10 billion annual trade target within stipulated period. Preferential tariff, Free Trade Agreement encouraging barter trade in local currencies facilitating export of meat, fruits, wheat, rice from Pakistan were some of important measures to boost mutual trade and further strengthen economic interactions. He said Pakistan was ready to grant multiple entry visas to Iranian businessmen on reciprocal basis.
He said Pakistan was committed to expeditious implementation of mega projects including Iran, Pakistan gas pipeline, electricity construction of Noshki-Dalbandin Road and upgrading Quetta-Taftan Railway track. He also said there was need for two countries to put in place effective arrangements to avoid untoward incidents on borders and called for better coordination of border control authorities from both sides.
He said terrorism, extremism was common threat and needs to be confronted with joint efforts. Being immediate neighbors of Afghanistan the two countries have great role to play in promoting stability peace, development in Afghanistan. He reiterated that regional issues need regional solutions. Pakistan believes sovereignty independence unity and territorial integrity of states should be respected.
Dr. Ali Salehi said Iran looks forward to participation of the President in NAM Summit as Pakistan was an important regional player and played an important role in shaping articulating NAM policies on number of global issues.