Wednesday
22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Islamabad, Tehran sign eight accords to fortify cooperation

Shehbaz Sharif suggests development by turning borders into hub of business activities; Ebrahim Raisi proposes enhancing border markets to give spur to business and trade activities at border areas

Islamabad and Tehran signed eight agreements on varying subjects to enhance cooperation in trade, science technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters soon after the arrival of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Pakistan on a three-day official visit.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and President Ebrahim Raisi witnessed the ceremony at the PM House in Islamabad as senior officials signed the documents. Islamabad and Tehran signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the Rimdan-Gabd joint free/special zone. The memorandum was inked by Board of Investment Secretary Ambreen Iftikhar and Iran’s Supreme Council of Free Trade Industrial and Special Economic Zones Secretary Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki.

Islamabad, Tehran sign eight accords to strengthen bilateral cooperation
Islamabad, Tehran sign eight accords to strengthen bilateral cooperation

The memorandum on mutual recognition of the standard was signed by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash. The memorandum on cooperation between the Ministry of Overseas Pakistani and Human Resources Development and the Iranian Ministry of Cooperative Labor and Social Welfare was also signed by Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Chaudhry Salik Hussain and Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.

Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar and Iranian Minister of Justice Amin Hossein Rahimi inked an agreement on judicial assistance in civil matters. Also, Pakistan and Iran signed an agreement of cooperation on health and animal hygiene. The document was signed by Minister for National Food Security and Research Rana Tanveer Hussain and Iranian Minister of Agriculture Jihad Mohammad Ali Nikhakht.

Similarly, the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in the field of quarantine and phytosanitary was inked by Minister for National Food Security and Research Rana Tanveer Hussain and Iran’s Minister of Agriculture Jihad Mohammad Ali Nikbakht. The two sides also signed a memorandum for legal cooperation between the Ministry of Law and Justice and Iranian Ministry of Justice. Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar and his Iranian counterpart Amin Hossein Rahimi signed the memorandum.

A memorandum between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Organization of Cinema and Audiovisual Affairs of Iran was inked to promote film exchange and cinema cooperation. The document was signed by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar and Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili. The signing ceremony also marked the ratification of a security cooperation agreement between the two governments.

PRESS TALK

After the agreement signing ceremony, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told media that both Pakistan and Iran under the leadership of President Dr Ebrahim Raisi could bring development and prosperity in their respective sides by turning their borders into hub of business activities. During their meeting, he said that the two sides held detailed discussions on economy, trade, investment, diplomacy, culture and various fields of mutual interests.

The Iranian president, who arrived along with a high-powered delegation, said that the trade volume between Pakistan and Iran was not reflective of the true potential and they wanted to increase it to $10 billion annually in 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. He said the two sides in their meetings decided to further promote the bilateral ties in trade and economic sectors. He said that there were a number of common issues, including fight against terror, efforts to curb organized crimes and smuggling, in which the two sides could enhance their cooperation.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrives in Pakistan on a three-day official visit
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrives in Pakistan on a three-day official visit

Dr Ebrahim Rais said 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 the historic and durable ties between Pakistan and Iran provided them opportunity to fully utilize them for the welfare and prosperity of the two nations. He said that Iran had achieved immense progress in science and technology and the country was ready to share their experiences and knowledge.

Conveying best regards from the people and the Iranian supreme leader to the Pakistani people, the visiting president said they had always been supporting the oppressed people of various areas of the world, specially the people of Palestine and had always been defending Islam and raising their voice for the freedom of Quds Al-Sharif – Jerusalem.

He believed that people in different parts of the world were in pain due to current situation in Palestine. At the same time, he said the United Nations and the UN Security Council could not perform their core responsibility. He emphasized that the people belonging to all religions across the world were calling for an end to the oppression against the Palestinian people.

The Iranian president believed that the position adopted by the people around the world and by the Palestinian resistance would surely be realized one day. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif commended Iran’s robust stand for Palestine, and said that Pakistan in this regard fully supported the oppressed Palestinian people. He called for raising voice at various international forums, including Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) till complete ceasefire in Gaza.

He 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 Pakistan and Iran 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.

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