President Asif Ali Zardari, in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, has underlined the need enhancing the “exchange of information to overcome the security challenges” being faced by both countries.

An official statement released by the President’s House on Thursday night said that the two held a telephonic conversation and exchanged greetings on the occasion of Eidul Fitr.

“During the conversation, President Zardari offered his heartfelt condolences and sympathies with the Iranian leadership and the bereaved families who lost their dear ones in the Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus,” the statement said.

Earlier this month, a part of Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital was flattened by an Israeli airstrike, killing two of its generals and five other military advisers.

The strike marked one of the most significant attacks yet on Iranian interests in Syria, where Israel has stepped up a long-running military campaign against Iran as the conflict in Gaza has rippled around the Middle East.

The president also expressed concerned over the “humanitarian crisis and the genocide being committed by the Israeli forces and called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” the statement said.

Zardari assured his Iranian counterpart that Pakistan would continue to work with Iran in all areas of mutual interest to further boost bilateral cooperation.

“He underlined the need to enhance the exchange of information to overcome the security challenges being faced by the two countries,” the statement said, adding that the president also invited Raisi to visit Pakistan.

“The president also wished the Iranian president and his family continued well-being, health and happiness,” it concluded.

Meanwhile, a similar statement was also carried by Iranian news agency IRNA.

Last month, President Zardari had stressed the need for promoting barter trade and economic relations with Iran for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly countries.

The statement had come less than a week after the United States again opposed the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project and cautioned about the risk of sanctions.

President Zardari said Pakistan and Iran had great scope for expanding bilateral economic cooperation in diverse fields. He expressed these views while talking to Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Reza Amiri Moghadam, who called on him at the Presidency.

According to the Presidency, Zardari expressed his commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. He called for working together to overcome the common challenges.

The Iranian ambassador emphasised the need to increase trade volume, banking cooperation, and air and business linkages. He said Pakistan could benefit from the Chabahar-Zahedan rail road for trade with Central Asia and Europe.


Additional input from Reuters

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