TEHRAN: Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right) and President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday.—AP
TEHRAN: Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right) and President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday.—AP

TEHRAN: Iranian Presi­dent Hassan Rouhani hailed on Saturday a “new chapter” in relations with China after talks with President Xi Jinping, who is touring the region to boost Beijing’s economic influence.

The two countries aimed to build economic ties worth up to $600 billion within the next 10 years, Mr Rouhani announced.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of 17 agreements in areas including politics, the economy, security and cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy.

“With the Chinese president’s visit to Tehran and our agreements, a new chapter has begun in Tehran-Beijing relations,” Mr Rouhani said in a televised speech, flanked by Mr Xi. The Chinese president also met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

It was the first visit to Iran by a Chinese president in 14 years and came just days after sanctions against Tehran were lifted under a historic nuclear deal with world powers.

President Xi arrived in Iran after visits to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“Iran is China’s major partner in the Middle East and the two countries have chosen to boost bilateral relations,” IRNA quoted President Xi as saying.

Beijing is Tehran’s top customer for oil exports, which in recent years were hit by US and EU sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Trade between the two countries was worth $52bn in 2014. More than a third of Iran’s foreign trade is carried out with China.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2016

Opinion

Activism in verse
07 May 2021

Activism in verse

Poetry speaks louder than prose when it comes to making an impact.
Missing women
07 May 2021

Missing women

In terms of gender parity, we are among the worst.
Mixed signals on rights
Updated 06 May 2021

Mixed signals on rights

Government officials continue to call human rights standards alien to Pakistan’s ground realities.

Editorial

Reprimanding envoys
Updated 07 May 2021

Reprimanding envoys

The prime minister should have engaged with honest and respectable officers to identify how solutions can be found.
07 May 2021

Foreign funding case

THE foreign funding case against the PTI has become a never-ending tale. It has been dragging on for years and after...
07 May 2021

Water woes

IRRIGATION experts have voiced concern over the decline of freshwater flow through Kotri barrage, which has led to...
Proceed with caution
Updated 06 May 2021

Proceed with caution

The slightest loosening of SOP protocols could send us hurling in the direction where India finds itself today.
06 May 2021

IPP dues

THE ECC decision to pay the first tranche of outstanding dues of one set of IPPs, and further delay the payments of...
06 May 2021

Violence against doctors

HEALTHCARE workers and doctors’ associations in two major hospitals of KP are adamant that the KP Healthcare...