Iranian President Dr Ebrahim Raisi said a key decision to increase bilateral trade volume to $10 billion has been reached as he addressed a high-profile joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Monday.

“In our meeting today, we (have) decided to promote bilateral relations between the two countries including political, economical, trade, cultural and others as far as possible,” said Raisi who arrived in Pakistan earlier during the day amid stringent security measures.

“You will probably find some individuals who do not favour expansion and good bilateral relations between us but who cares – it is not important. We believe it is important to expand relations between our countries,” added the Iranian president.

“We have decided as a first step to increase trade volume between our two countries to $10 billion.”

The two sides – which currently have bilateral trade of over $2 billion – also held a meeting earlier, and agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism.

“The entire Pakistani nation welcomes the visit of the Iranian President,” Radio Pakistan quoted the PM as saying.

In his address, PM Shehbaz said that the two sides discussed religious, security and historic matters during their meeting.

“Today is an opportunity to make this friendship a happy and prosperous one.”

Pakistan, Iran sign eight accords

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Iran signed eight accords on varying subjects to enhance cooperation in the different fields including trade, science technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters.

PM Shehbaz and President Raisi witnessed the ceremony as the representatives from both sides signed the documents, state-run APP reported earlier.

The Iranian president’s visit comes at a significant time especially in terms of rising tension in the region amid the Israeli aggression in Gaza, its attack on the Iranian consulate, and Iran’s subsequent retaliation followed by strikes on its territory.

With terrorism incidents also on the rise in Pakistan, Raisi arrived in Pakistan on a three-day official visit – amid stringent security measures – accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation, comprising the foreign minister and other members of the cabinet, senior officials and a business delegation.

He was received by Federal Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada.

The Iranian president then arrived at the Prime Minister’s House where he was received by PM Shehbaz. He was also presented with a guard of honour.

This is the first visit by any head of state to Pakistan after the February 8 general elections.

The leader’s visit comes after Tehran launched an unprecedented retaliatory attack on Israel last week.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the country’s armed forces for their “success in recent events”.

“The armed forces showed a good image of their abilities and power and an admirable image of the Iranian nation,” Khamenei said.

“They also proved the emergence of the power of the Iranian nation’s determination at the international level.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) had said Raisi will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Senate Chairman Yousaf Raza Gillani and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

“He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership,” it added.

“The two sides will have a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran ties and enhance cooperation in diverse fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” the FO said.

“They will also discuss regional and global developments and bilateral cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism,” it added.

“Pakistan and Iran enjoy strong bilateral ties anchored in history, culture and religion. This visit provides an important opportunity to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran relations,” the FO concluded.

The visit also comes months after Iran launched attacks in Pakistan targeting what it described as bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl in the border town of Panjgur in Balochistan, prompting strong condemnation from Islamabad and downgrading of diplomatic ties.

Iran missile strikes: Pakistan recalls envoy

Less than 48 hours later, Pakistan struck terrorist hideouts in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province. Reacting to the strikes, Iran had stressed that it would not allow its enemies to strain its “amicable and brotherly relations” with Islamabad.

The situation and bilateral ties, however, soon normalised with both countries resuming diplomatic engagement.

However, a thorny issue between the two sides remains the incomplete portion on Pakistani side of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which Islamabad says is subject to Washington’s agreement due to sanctions on Iranian entities.

Public holiday announced

A public holiday was announced in Karachi Division on Tuesday (tomorrow) in view of the “visit of foreign dignitaries and to avoid inconvenience to the general public”.

As per a notification issued from the Commissioner Karachi office, all government and private offices, educational institutions (public/private), would remain closed on Tuesday except the essential services and officials involved in emergency duties.

Comments

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GoodBye IMF Apr 22, 2024 12:58pm
Raisi visit, Iran Israel tensions, US sanctios on ballistic missiles, Iran Pak pipeline, American elections (Trump looming). It's not gonna be easy at imf.
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Afgkpkbaloch Apr 22, 2024 01:06pm
Hosting America's most hated while begging IMF in US. It's imran's Russian visit all over again.
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SanePAKISTSNI Apr 22, 2024 01:11pm
US sanctions and this visit will play a vital part in any IMF decision.
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Sunni council Apr 22, 2024 01:17pm
Imf and wb are filled with Jews and we are hosting this guy.
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Imran Khan Apr 22, 2024 01:23pm
Has MBS approved this?
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Snake Apr 22, 2024 01:57pm
@Afgkpkbaloch, as if they didn’t know the consequences. Everything is preplanned, don’t worry
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Mustafa Apr 22, 2024 04:01pm
This move is to calm down Iran and decrease tensions in the reign.
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Cool boy Apr 22, 2024 04:44pm
In what currency? Dollars, rupees, riyals or Yuan?
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Snake killer Apr 22, 2024 07:28pm
@Snake , snakes are planning.to no avail.
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Az_Iz Apr 22, 2024 11:24pm
Good to improve relationship with Iran. Keeps one side of the border amicable. And trade should benefit both.
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Az_Iz Apr 22, 2024 11:32pm
'CRIPT'. China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Many will be upset. But, benefits should outweigh consequences. Look at 'BRICS'. If anyone is upset , they can shrug off consequences.
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Az_Iz Apr 23, 2024 12:10am
'CRIPT'. China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Two billion people. $35 trillion economic block.
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test Apr 23, 2024 12:20am
In every kind of relationships the only thing that matter is understanding and the result out of the relationship. Both Saudis and Iran have their interests in middle east with respect to oil and gas.
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test Apr 23, 2024 12:24am
First of all Iran and Pakistan has to agree on mature bilateral trade & investment plan in currencies other than dollar and euro because usd/euro a part of swift system & hence vulnerable to sanctions
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test Apr 23, 2024 12:28am
China Pakistan Iran can trade with each other in Chinese Yuan because Iran is selling oil to China in Yuan and is buying Chinese products using Yuan so Pakistan can also do the trade with Iran in Yuan
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