Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, called for the swift completion of the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project during his recent three-day visit to Pakistan. Amirabdollahian engaged in formal talks with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his first foreign minister visit to Pakistan.
A significant agreement to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion was reached during the negotiations between the two foreign ministers, covering a wide range of other topics, including regional and global challenges. At a joint news conference, Amirabdollahian expressed Iran’s belief that completing the IP gas pipeline would be in the best interest of both nations and assured his readiness to finalize the project promptly.
The IP gas pipeline project initially involved India was originally set to be completed by December 2014. Still, progress has been stalled on Pakistan’s side due to concerns about international sanctions and geopolitical factors. However, with the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, there is hope that the project may advance.
During the visit, the two foreign ministers also addressed monetary and banking issues between the two countries, the current situation in Afghanistan, and concerns about the crisis in Ukraine and its potential ramifications.
Bilawal emphasized the significance of projects like the Pishin-Mand border crossing market and the transfer of electricity from Iran to Pakistan, highlighting their positive impact on bilateral relations. He also mentioned the importance of countering Islamophobia and preventing the desecration of holy books, agreeing with Amirabdollahian.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also met with Amirabdollahian, expressing Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthening relations with Iran in various fields, mainly focusing on economic cooperation. The prime minister stressed the importance of leveraging the unique geographical location of both countries to promote regional peace, prosperity, and enhanced connectivity.
Overall, the visit aimed to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Iran and discussed key issues that will contribute to the growth of economic ties and regional stability. As a result of the discussions, a five-year trade cooperation plan with a $5 billion trade target was formulated, reinforcing the commitment of both nations to bolster their bilateral relations.