–Iranian army chief calls on the foreign minister
–COAS and Major General Bagheri discuss regional security situation
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday hoped that Pakistan and Iran would continue efforts for dealing with cross-border challenges and high-level visits will further strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.
He was talking to Iranian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Major General Dr Muhammad Hossein Bagheri who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
The president emphasised that Pakistan and Iran enjoy close, cordial and fraternal relations based on a shared faith, culture and history.
He further stated that relations between both countries have seen a new era especially after Iranian president’s visit to Pakistan and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visit to Iran last year.
He underlined that the objective of the Gwadar Port project was to enhance connectivity between different countries of the region and this project will be beneficial for the whole region.
The president stated that a stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region. Pakistan supports Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process, he added.
He said that as neighbours of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran were committed to promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan. “We look forward to enhancing our cooperation with Iran for peace and prosperity in the region,” he added.
MAJOR GENERAL DR BAGHERI CALLS ON FOREIGN MINISTER:
Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon received Major General Dr Mohammad Bagheri. Welcoming the dignitary, the foreign minister stated that Pakistan and Iran have enjoyed religious and socio-cultural affinities and the bilateral relations have continued to strengthen with regular exchange of visits at various levels during the past few years. He added that Pakistan desires to further strengthen cooperation with Iran in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of two countries and to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The foreign minister appreciated the Iranian leadership’s strong and consistent support on the issue of Kashmir. During the meeting, it was noted that both countries have made useful progress in areas of trade, connectivity, cultural relations and enhancing people-to-people contacts. There was a considerable scope to enhance these relations further. The foreign minister also briefed Major General Mohammad Bagheri on the upcoming general elections in Pakistan, expressing the desire of the government to hold free, fair and transparent elections. The two sides also discussed issues related to peace and stability in Afghanistan and other matters of mutual interest in the region.
Major General Bagheri conveyed the best wishes of the Iranian leadership and people of Iran for continued prosperity and progress of Pakistan. He expressed the confidence that the upcoming elections would usher Pakistan to an era of continued growth under strong leadership. He also thanked Pakistan for its principled stance on JCPOA.
IRANIAN ARMY CHIEF, COAS DISCUSS REGIONAL SECURITY SITUATION:
Major General Dr Mohammad Bagheri also met with COAS Bajwa on Monday.
According to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), regional security, defence cooperation and border management issues were discussed during the meeting.
Enhancing military to military cooperation was emphasised by the COAS, adding that an increase in cooperation between the two countries would lead to improved security climate in the region.
His Iranian counterpart also emphasised an improvement in relations as important and condemned the recent terror attacks inside Pakistan.