Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
Iran and Pakistan have agreed to increase the value of their bilateral trade to $10 billion in the future. The agreement was made during a meeting between Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani in Tehran on Monday, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani
Gillani arrived in Tehran on Sunday at the head of a high-ranking delegation, including Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
Gillani will travel to Gilan Province, which is the home of his ancestors, on Tuesday morning, and then will fly to Mashhad, and will head home to Pakistan on Tuesday evening.
During the meeting, Rahimi said that the economic relations between Tehran and Islamabad are not as strong as their political relations and added that the two countries' great potential should be utilized to help expand their economic ties.
He said that the cooperation between Iranian and Pakistani banks should be increased to achieve the trade target.
Tehran attaches great significance to its comprehensive relations with Islamabad, he added.
And the Islamic Republic of Iran is keen to increase cooperation with Pakistan in all areas, Rahimi stated.
However, there are some obstacles in the way of the expansion of ties, including the security issue, he said, adding that Iran and Pakistan should take serious measures to tighten security along their border.
Commenting on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, he stated that the implementation of the project would help strengthen relations between the two countries.
The pipeline will be regarded as a symbol of cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, Rahimi said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian vice president thanked the Pakistani government for its efforts to help resolve problems facing regional countries.
On the flood that swept Pakistan in late July 2010, Rahimi said that Iran is ready to provide assistance to Pakistan to help with the reconstruction process in the flood-stricken areas.
He then spoke about the situation in Afghanistan and stated that the presence of the military forces of certain foreign countries near areas bordering Iran and Pakistan harms the interests of the two countries.
Rahimi added that Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have the capability to work out a solution to the Afghanistan issue.
Gillani emphasized the importance of holding regular talks between officials of the two countries, saying Pakistan has formed a working group with the aim of strengthening Tehran-Islamabad economic relations.
The delegation will visit Iran in the near future, he announced.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Gillani thanked Iran for the flood assistance it sent to Pakistan.
Iran, Pakistan should root out terrorism in the region
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also held a meeting with Gillani on Monday, in which he said that the common enemies of Iran and Pakistan are seeking to undermine security in the region and hinder the progress of regional countries.
He also said that Tehran and Islamabad should make more serious efforts to help root out terrorism in the region.
Gillani stated that Pakistan is on the front line of the campaign against terrorism and extremism and called for increased cooperation between the two countries on this issue.
Tehran, Islamabad should maintain good relations
In addition, the Pakistani prime minister held talks with Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Monday.
Larijani said that the two neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan should not allow the terrorist attacks carried out on their common border to undermine their good relations.
Gillani promised that Pakistan would make every effort to improve security along its border with Iran.
Iran seeking regional solutions to regional problems
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi held a meeting with the Pakistani foreign minister on Monday, in which he said that solutions proposed by regional countries can play a significant role in efforts to resolve regional issues.
He also called for the expansion of ties between Tehran and Islamabad.
At the meeting, Ms. Khar said that Pakistan is determined to enhance relations with Iran.
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