Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives in Pakistan on 2-day visit

Published November 10, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands before a meeting in May, 2019. — Photo courtesy Naveed Siddiqui/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands before a meeting in May, 2019. — Photo courtesy Naveed Siddiqui/File

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday on a two-day trip, during which he will hold delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and meetings with other officials.

According to a press release from the Foreign Office, Zarif will also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit which ends on November 11. He is also scheduled to meet National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during his stay in Islamabad, Dawn reported earlier.

The Iranian foreign minister is being accompanied by a delegation comprising political and economic experts.

The delegation includes Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Ibrahim Taheriyan, according to an Iranian official. This would be Taheriyan’s first visit to Islamabad in his capacity as the Iranian point man on Afghanistan.

Iran has supported the intra-Afghan dialogue, which has been going on in Doha since September, but has failed to make any headway. The two sides have been bogged down for nearly two months in negotiations on the talks’ framework and its agenda.

Taheriyan, in a meeting with special representative of the UN secretary-general for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons on Monday, expressed concern over escalating violence in Afghanistan over the past three months, according to media reports.

This is the fourth time Zarif is visiting Pakistan over the past two and a half years, the FO said in its press release today, adding that the tour is "part of regular high-level exchanges" between Iran and Pakistan. He last came here in May 2019.

"The visit of the Foreign Minister of Iran will help further deepen bilateral cooperation and enhance understanding on various regional issues," the FO statement read.

The statement underlined the "close, cordial relations" between the two countries which were "founded on mutual trust and augmented by affinities of faith and culture". It also noted that the Iranian government has been vocal in its support for the people of occupied Kashmir.

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