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Iran cements ties with Pakistan

Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli

Bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan will reach $5 billion according to the Iran's Interior Minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

Speaking after the 20th session of the Iran-Pakistan joint economic commission yesterday, Rahmani Fazli announced that Tehran and Islamabad had agreed to increase the value of bilateral trade to $5 billion within the next four years following several months of meetings and talks on various economic, industrial, energy, communication and security issues.

During the joint economic commission chaired by Rahmani Fazli and Pakistani Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Abdul Qadir Baloch, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation in various fields.

In a visit to Pakistan earlier this year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and underlined the necessity for closer cooperation between the two neighbouring countries in economic fields.

Back in 2016, high-ranking officials from the two countries signed six MoUs to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas, including health, commerce, security and foreign services.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded Saudi Arabia's highest honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, on 3 April 2016. [Narendra Modi/Wikimedia]

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded Saudi Arabia's highest honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, on 3 April 2016. [Narendra Modi/Wikimedia]

The strengthening of ties between Tehran and Islamabad will be watched carefully by Saudi Arabia, who is Pakistan's erstwhile ally and benefactor but a bitter rival to Iran.

Decades of cooperation between the Gulf countries and Pakistan was dented in 2015 when the Pakistani military refused to play a role in Yemen. The UAE even cancelled visa waivers for Pakistani military officials, a process that had existed for decades.

In contrast, relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's adversary, India, have reached new heights: King Salman Bin Abdulaziz conferred the kingdom's highest civilian award, the King Abdulaziz Order, on the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in 2016. This has never been given to any Pakistani leader despite decades of good relations between the two countries.

 

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Asia & AmericasIndiaIranMiddle EastNewsPakistanSaudi Arabia
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