Pakistan, Iran discuss common resolve against xenophobia

Foreign Minister Qureshi, Iranian President Rouhani discuss ways and means to strengthen bilateral relations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday held a discussion on showing a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief.
The discussion took place during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani in Tehran.
“While discussing rising Islamophobia, Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated convergence between Pakistan and Iran to show a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The foreign minister conveyed warm greetings on behalf of Pakistani leadership to Dr Rouhani and best wishes for the fraternal Iranian people. Foreign Minister Qureshi lauded President Rouhani’s role in leading the nation during his tenure.
Foreign Minister Qureshi discussed with President Rouhani the ways and means to strengthen close bilateral relations, rooted in shared history, culture, faith and language. He underlined Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to strengthen ties with Iran in diverse field with emphasis on expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development.
The foreign minister thanked the Iranian president for support to the prime minister’s initiative to establish border markets, which would benefit people in the border region. The opening of international border crossing point at Mand-Pishin would facilitate pedestrian movement and enhance bilateral trade.
Qureshi expressed gratitude for Iran’s consistent support to the Kashmiri people, especially from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. President Rouhani expressed happiness over Prime Minister Imran’s recovery from Covid-19. He reiterated Iran’s desire to enhance bilateral relations in diverse fields.
Separately, Foreign Minister Qureshi also called on Speaker of Iranian Parliament Muhammad Bagher Ghalibaf. During the meeting, the foreign minister highlighted excellent Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations, and reiterated commitment to further strengthen fraternal ties.
Referring to the parliamentary cooperation, Qureshi emphasized frequent exchanges to develop common understanding on various issues. He also underlined for the need to enhance coordination at international parliamentary fora.
The foreign minister apprised the Speaker about the grave human rights violations in IOK and appreciated the support of the Iranian leadership to the Kashmiri people.
Highlighting the rise of Islamophobia, Foreign Minister Qureshi remarked that such cases imperil future prospects of peace and harmony among civilisations. The foreign minister appreciated Iran’s support to Pakistan’s initiative to counter Islamophobia. It was agreed to move jointly on the issue of Islamophobia and preserving the respect of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The foreign minister reiterated National Assembly speaker’s invitation to his Iranian counterpart for a visit to Pakistan and expressed hope that the visit will further strengthen parliamentary cooperation between Pakistan and Iran.
The chairman of Pakistan Iran Friendship Group received the foreign minister upon arrival at the parliament.

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Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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