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Pakistan's Prime Minister arrives in Tehran

Tehran, Feb 22, IRNA -- First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref extended an official welcome to Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who arrived here at the head of a high-ranking delegation Tuesday.

During the ceremony held at Sa'dabad Cultural Complex, national anthems of the two countries were played and the two officials reviewed a guard of honor.

Aref and Aziz are expected to hold their private talks within few hours.

Pakistan prime minister is scheduled to meet Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

Aziz and senior Iranian officials are to discuss economic and trade ties as well as regional developments particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the Middle East.

The premier is accompanied by ministers of petroleum and natural resources, narcotics control, and state for the interior.

This is Aziz's first visit to Iran since taking office in August 2004.

Tehran and Islamabad will sign several documents for cooperation at the end of Pakistani premier's visit.

The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Pakistan stands at some 380 million dollars annually.

Iran imported 90 million dollars worth of goods from Pakistan last year.

Pakistan has expressed its readiness to buy gas from Iran and pipe it to India through its territory.

... Payvand News - 2/22/05 ... --

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