Pakistan, Iran to open two new border crossings

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Saturday, 26 March 2016

Pakistan, Iran to open two new border crossings

Shiite News: In a landmark understanding, Pakistan and Iran on Friday agreed to establish two additional crossing points along their border to encourage and facilitate trade and people-to-people contacts between the two brotherly countries. Both the countries also decided to further bolster their bilateral relations in diverse areas of trade, economy and energy.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the joint stakeout with visiting President Dr Hassan Rouhani here at the PM House on Friday evening, reminded that the trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Iran had suffered due to sanctions. “We have agreed to strengthen our bilateral ties in diverse areas of trade, economy and energy,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz and President Rouhani held one-on-one and delegation-level talks during which the two sides had wide range of discussions on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), including the one described as “Five-Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan”.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hassan Rouhani said that the two sides discussed diversification of trade and economic relations and the ways and means to explore new opportunities of cooperation in the energy sector including the export of electricity from Iran to Pakistan. He said that the two sides also deliberated on the ways to boost the bilateral trade by means of preferential trade and move forward for a free trade agreement between Pakistan and Iran.

The Iranian president said that the two sides also explored possibility of trade through Pakistan’s Gwadar Port and Iran’s Chahbahar Port. Pakistan and Iran considered each other’s security as their own security, adding, there was a will and resolve of the two countries to combat extremist and terrorist groups and not to allow such elements to shatter peace in the region.

The Iranian president said that the two sides also needed to enhance cultural relations as well as regional cooperation. He stressed for political solutions to regional problems and conflicts. President Rouhani also extended greetings to the people and the Government of Pakistan as well as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan Day.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was assisted in talks by Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Syed Tariq Fatemi.

Earlier, the formal welcome ceremony for the Iranian president was held at the Prime Minister’s House. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif greeted the distinguished guest on his arrival. National anthems of the two countries were played. A contingent from the three services presented the guard of honour to the Iranian president. He took the salute and inspected the guard of honour.

Earlier, on the arrival of the visiting dignitary at the airport, 21 guns salute was given to him. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, disregarding protocol formalities, received Iran’s President at the Nur Khan Airbase.

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