KARACHI, Pakistan

The Iranian foreign minister on Wednesday met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to discuss ways to “further strengthen” bilateral cooperation with special emphasis on trade and economic relations.

Javad Zarif is currently on a two-day visit to Islamabad.

Khan, according to a statement from the Prime Minister Office, extended condolences over the loss of precious lives in Iran due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharing Pakistan’s experience, he said the “smart lockdown” strategy and other measures taken by his government has led to “significant containment of the pandemic” in Pakistan.

Emphasizing the need for enhanced bilateral cooperation with special emphasis on bilateral trade and economic relations, Khan underscored the need to work closely for promoting peace, security and development in the region.

Highlighting Pakistan’s efforts towards facilitating peace and stability in neighboring Afghanistan, he reiterated his stance that there was no military solution to the 19-year conflict.

The premier reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process hoping that the “historic opportunity” would be seized by all Afghan parties to secure a political settlement.

“Peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region as it would create new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation as well as regional connectivity,” he went on to say.

Zarif, for his part, conveyed “personal” greetings and commitment of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to work closely with Khan for further strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

He also reaffirmed Iran’s “steadfast” support to Islamabad’s stand on longstanding Kashmir dispute.

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