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Pakistan PM vows to expand ties with Iran

Islamabad, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan says he desires to further improve relations with Iran, adding that his government will take all measures to strengthen ties with the Islamic Republic.

He said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad-Javad Zarif, who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

A statement, released by PM house after the meeting, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan received Javad Zarif, Minister forForeign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who conveyed to him the greetings and best wishes of the people and leadership of Iran on assuming office.

Mr. Zarif stated that Iran wished continued progress and prosperity to the people of Pakistan, it said.

The statement added Foreign Minister Javad Zarif delivered a message of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, inviting the Prime Minister for the upcoming Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Iran, in October 2018. Both Pakistan and Iran are members of the organization. Iran currently holds the Chair of the organization.

Welcoming the Foreign Minister, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's support for Kashmiri's struggle for self-determination as well as for the manner in which Pakistan Independence Day was celebrated in Iran, it added.

The statement said Prime Minister thanked the Foreign Minister for the sincere wishes. Recalling his recent telephonic conversation with President Rouhani, Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan and Iran were connected by inseparable bondsof historic, religious and cultural affinities.

He added that during his tenure, Pakistan would make all efforts to cement these relations in various areas to the benefit ofboth countries, it said.

The statement further said that Prime Minister Imran Khan also emphasized on restoring complete peace and stability in the region.

As land bridges between economically resource-rich regions, together with other regional partners, Pakistan and Iran remained the key to growth and prosperity in the region through enhancing connectivity and promoting people to people linkages, he said.

Referring to cancellation of blasphemous Dutch caricatures competition following Government of Pakistan's strong condemnation and protest recently, the Prime Minister underlined the need for the Muslim countries to confront Islamophobia with one voice.

The love and respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was part of every Muslim's faith and no one could be allowed to disrespect it, he said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif left Pakistan for Tehran on Friday after conclusion of his two-day official visit.

The Iranian Foreign Minister was the first top foreign diplomat to visit Pakistan after the new government came into power earlier this month.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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