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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Tuesday agreed on the need for expeditious finalization of arrangement to facilitate legal trade and improve livelihood in border region, in light of Prime Minister Imran Khan's initiative of joint border markets.

The matter was discussed in a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Dr Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a Foreign Office press release said.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues, particularly the Afghan peace process.

Qureshi emphasized the importance of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation.

The two foreign ministers also reviewed progress on the opening of new border crossing point.

Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the historic opportunity to work out an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement.

He underlined the need to consolidate progress achieved in Doha process and take the process forward. Expressing concern on high level of violence, he underscored the importance of reduction in violence leading to ceasefire.

Qureshi also underlined the need to be cognisant of "spoilers", who did not wish to see return of peace and stability in the region.

He added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would help in improving connectivity and promote infrastructure development in the region.

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