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Pakistan and Iran set $10bn as target for bilateral trade annually in 5 years

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Monday agreed to enhance bilateral trade ties and promote business activities at the border areas to ensure development and prosperity of the people of the two countries.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, in a press talk along with President of Iran Dr Ebrahim Raisi after witnessing the signing of bilateral agreements and MoUs here at the PM House, said under the leadership of the Iranian President, the two countries could bring development and prosperity in their respective sides by turning their borders into hub of business activities.
He said during their meeting, the two sides held detailed discussions on various fields of mutual interests including economy, trade, investment, diplomacy, security and culture.
The Iranian President, who arrived here on Monday on his three-day official visit to Pakistan along with a high powered delegation, said that the trade volume between the two brotherly countries was not below the existing potential and they wanted to increase the volume to US$10 billion annually in next five years.
He stressed that steps were needed to enhance border markets to give spur to the business and trade activities at the border areas, besides enhancing security.
He said that the two countries shared common affinities and no one could separate them, adding the two sides in their meetings, decided to further promote the bilateral ties between the two countries in trade and economic sectors.
President Dr Raisi said that there were a number of common issues including fight against terrorism, efforts to curb organized crimes and smuggling, in which the two sides could enhance their cooperation.
The president stressed that it was significant to further broaden the bilateral ties for the benefits of the two countries, besides continuity of cooperation at the highest level.
He said that the historic and durable ties between Iran and Pakistan provided them opportunity to fully utilize them for the welfare and prosperity of the two nations.
President Raisi said that Iran had achieved immense progress in science and technology and the country was ready to share their experiences and knowledge.
President of Iran Dr Ebrahim Raisi conveying best regards from the people and the Supreme Leader of Iran to the people of Pakistan said the great people of Pakistan had always been supporting the oppressed people of various areas of the world specially the people of Gaza and had always been defending Islam and raising their voice for the freedom of Quds Al-Sharif.
He believed that today people in different parts of the world were in pain due to current situation in Palestine. At the same time, he said the international organization such as Untied Nations and UN Security Council who claimed to support human rights, could not deliver their core responsibility.
President Raisi emphasized that the people belonging to all religions across the world including that of Iran and Pakistan were calling for an end to the oppression and barbarism against the people of Palestine.
The Iranian President believed that the position adopted by the people around the world and by the Palestinian resistance will surely be realized one day.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif commended Iran’s robust stand for the Muslims of Gaza and the barbarism being committed against them, saying that Pakistan in this regard also fully support the oppressed people of Gaza.
He said the resolution of the UN Security Council with respect to Palestine was being violated. He regretted that over 35000 people had so far been martyred in Palestine.
He also called for raising voice at various international forums including Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) till complete ceasefire in Gaza.
At the same time, the prime minister said the Kashmir valley had also been turned to red by the blood of the oppressed Kashmiris. He believed that Kashmir will also be liberated soon.
The prime minister thanked the Iranian President for visiting Pakistan saying that he was the first head of state of any country who visited Pakistan after general elections held in February 2024.
He said both Iran and Pakistan enjoyed very close and brotherly relations which spanned over centuries.
He said the two countries enjoyed historic relations with deep rooted people to people bonds and similarities in religion and culture.
He stressed that these close and brotherly relations should be strengthened and promoted for mutual benefit as well as development and prosperity in the region.
PM, President Raisi condemn Israel’s indiscriminate use of force in Gaza; reiterate call for immediate ceasefire
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Dr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi on Monday expressed strong and unequivocal condemnation of the indiscriminate use of force by Israeli occupation authorities in Gaza for over seven months.
They reiterated the call for international efforts to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, lifting of the siege and humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza.
The two leaders, in a meeting, discussed the entire range of bilateral relations and exchanged views on important regional and global developments, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
Underscoring the rich history of relations between Pakistan and Iran, they also reaffirmed their commitment to expand wide-ranging bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, energy, connectivity, culture and people-to-people contacts.
Ministers and senior officials from both sides were present in the meeting.
Both sides agreed to increase the volume of bilateral trade to US$10 billion in the next five years.
They also agreed to cooperate in developing joint approaches to confront common challenges including the threat of terrorism.
The prime minister lauded the Iranian leadership, especially Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for Iran’s unequivocal and principled support for the Kashmiri people and their legitimate rights.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and visiting Iranian President Syed Ebrahim Raisi on Monday planted a sapling in the lawn of the Prime Minister’s House to mark the annual Earth Day.
Accompanied by his spouse and a high-powered delegation of ministers and businessmen, the Iranian president arrived here on a three-day official visit.
Both the dignitaries planted the sapling of Chir pine, also known as Pinus roxburghii – a hardy species native to the Himalayas.
Prime Minister Shehbaz, earlier in a message to the nation on Earth Day, urged the countrymen to reaffirm their commitment to using plastic responsibly and embrace recycling and eco-friendly alternatives to achieve a plastic-free society.
Earlier, as the visiting dignitary arrived at the PM House, he was given a guard of honour before the tete-a-tete between the prime minister and Iranian president.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Monday warmly welcomed Iranian President Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi in Persian language.
During their joint press stakeout, the prime minister recited Allama Muhammad Taqi Bahar’s Persian verses about Pakistan, in which the poet had invoked divine blessings for the country, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
The prime minister, on the occasion, read out a Persian couplet for the visiting President which warmly welcomed his arrival in Pakistan.
The prime minister’s eloquence in the Persian language brought smiles upon the faces of the Iranian President and other participants who were pleased to hear such remarks.
They also applauded the prime minister’s gesture. – APP

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