Islamabad (August 30, 2018): Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Japan’s state minister for foreign affairs will arrive on a two-day visit of Pakistan today.
Zarif will hold talks with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a one-on-one meeting to discuss bilateral relations and expansion of cooperation in various fields.
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Javad Zarif will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan. PM Khan has expressed intention to improve and strengthen Pakistan’s ties with neighbouring country Iran.Zarif is also expected to hold meetings with political and military leaders during his visit of Pakistan.
It is first to visit of Pakistan by a foreign minister after installation of the new government in Islamabad.
Announcing the visit earlier in August, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the Iran and Pakistan maintain brotherly ties and the two countries are interested in keeping security along the common borders.
A key barometer of the improving ties for Iran is whether Pakistan step up for the long-stalled Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline—a project first initiated in 1995. The $7.5 billion project, touted as delivering 21.5 million cubic metres of gas to energy-starved Pakistan, has been opposed by the US for years as part of Washington’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme.Mr Zarif is likely to be keen on re-starting the project, as it will provide much-needed income to an Iranian economy under siege from US sanctions.
Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs also arriving in Islamabad today on a two-day visit.
He will hold meetings with top government officials during the visit.