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TEHRAN: Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for opening of six market places at borders areas of the two countries.

The MoU was signed by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

These six market places would be established at border between Balochistan province of Pakistan and Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The foreign minister expressed the confidence that establishment of border markets would be beneficial for both countries.

It would go a long way in improving the economic conditions of the residents of border areas, he added.

The proposal for opening of border markets was given by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Iranian President Rouhani during his visit to Iran in 2019. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif Wednesday discussed entire spectrum of bilateral ties, regional and international issues and other issues of mutual interests.

During a delegation-level talks, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted the closer historical, cultural, religious and linguistic ties between the two brotherly countries.

Both sides discussed prospects for further enhancement of bilateral trade, investment, continuation of closer contacts, security and cultural cooperation.

They also discussed opening of six border market places, opening of new border corridors and increasing people to people contacts, a press release said.

They also reviewed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation at the United Nations and other global fora and resolved to deepen the shared interests with regard to regional peace and economic prosperity.

Foreign minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support and facilitation towards durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and stressed that withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and progress on peace process should be concurrent.

Both sides agreed upon the need for a responsible drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in collaboration with all the Afghan stakeholders.

Foreign minister Qureshi also apprised Javad Zarif about the ongoing grave human rights violations committed by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOK).

He demanded that international community should hold India accountable for its crimes against Kashmiris and lauded Javad Zarif for his recent statement in support of right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

The two sides also exchanged views on the increasing incidents of Islamophobia in the European countries and agreed to continue work closely through the collective efforts of the Muslim countries to counter such incidents. The two foreign ministers also appreciated the step for opening of Mand-Pishin international border crossing. The Iranian foreign minister also hosted an iftar dinner in the honour of foreign minister Qureshi and his delegation.


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