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Zarif’s Pakistan visit to deepen bilateral ties: Pak ex-envoy

Islamabad, Pakistan's former ambassador to India and senior analyst says upcoming visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif to Pakistan would further deepen ties between Tehran and Islamabad.

In an interview with IRNA, Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) President Abdul Basit said, 'Iran is our brotherly neighbor and we have had always good relations with Iran and I think we need to build on that.'

Foreign Minister Zarif is expected to arrive in Islamabad on Thursday. This would be first visit by any foreign dignitary after the formation of new government in Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention that this is Zarif's eighth visit to Pakistan since he became Iran's foreign minister in 2013.

Zarif is expected to hold meetings with Pakistani civil and military leadership to explore more avenues of cooperation between the two friendly countries.

Earlier Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said he would welcome Zarif in Islamabad.

Abdul Basit said it is good to see that Iranian Foreign Minister is coming to Pakistan and 'we are all looking forward to this visit.'

This would be first high level contact between the new government of Pakistan and Iran, he noted.

The former ambassador expressing his views said, 'We can discuss many things like Afghanistan, how to improve relations between Chabahar and Gwadar ports, economic relations and so on.'

This visit is also important in the back drop of the Iran-US relations, he added.

Abdul Basit went on to say, 'We can also discuss as how to ensure the Iran-Pakistan economic relations are not adversely affected.'

We are moving ahead with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and that would also come under discussions between Iran and Pakistan during Mr. Zarif's visit, he viewed. It would be an important visit from our perspective, said the analyst.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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