Outgoing year bears fruitful Iran-Pakistan ties to 2018

Islamabad, Dec 30, IRNA - The outgoing year has seen major developments in Iran-Pakistan ties and it is expected that the year proved to be fruitful for relations between the two neighboring states in the coming year as well.

Iran and Pakistan have been enjoying strong brotherly relations since the creation of Pakistan way back in 1947. Since then the two countries have always been supporting each other on world issues.

In January Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of Iran, Allauddin Boroujerdi visited Pakistan and met Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to boost bilateral ties.
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Later in February the then Pakistani Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz paid a two-day official visit to Tehran to hold talks with the Iranian officials to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in diverse fields.
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In the February the then Chairman of Pakistan’s National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari also visited Iran to attend sixth conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifadah (Uprising) in Tehran.
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In the same month Pakistan hosted an international naval exercise ‘Aman 17’ and a delegation from Iranian Navy visited Karachi as observer of the exercise. During the year the navy ships of both the countries also visited each other for a goodwill gesture.
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In February, Iranian tennis team visited Islamabad to play Davis Cup against Pakistan.
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In the same month Iranian traditional ‘Kook’ band visited Pakistan to participate in the 38th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Pakistan. The group was warmly welcomed in the country and people appreciated their performance.
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A major development the outgoing year saw was the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Pakistan in March to attend the 13th Economic Coordination Organization (ECO) summit in Islamabad. He had important meetings with the Pakistani leadership to enhance bilateral ties between the two friendly countries.
The visit was very successful as the two countries signed several agreements with an aim to enhance the bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
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In April Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq visited Iran leading a high level delegation to promote parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
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On April 26 nine Iranian border guards were martyred and two others injured by terrorists near Pakistan border in southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, when they were patrolling at the zero border point. After the incident Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited Pakistan and met with Pakistani civil and military leadership to have better cooperation between the two countries for border security
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In August Chairman of Pakistani Senate Mian Raza Rabbani visited Iran to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the Iranian President Rouhani.
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In September Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the United Nations General Assembly session in New York and reaffirmed his commitment to strengthen ties with Pakistan.
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In September Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khawaja Muhammad Asif visited Iran to discuss new US policy for Afghanistan and south Asia with Iranian top officials.
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Speaker of Pakistan's Balochistan Assembly Rahila Durrani visited Iran in October and had useful discussions to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
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In the same month Iranian minister of health, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi came to Pakistan to attend meeting of World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean in Islamabad.
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In November Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa visited Iran with an aim to expand ties with Iran in all spheres. He had useful discussions with Iranian leaders including President Hassan Rouhani.
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In the same month Iranian embassy in Pakistan issued record number of visas for Pakistani pilgrims who wanted to attend Arabian ceremony in holy places in Iran and Iraq.
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In November 11th meeting of Directors General of Civil Aviation of the Developing-8 (D-8) Organization and expert working group was held in Islamabad. Vice President of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Arash Khodaei led the Iranian delegation during the conference.
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In the same month Pakistan’s Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Co-ordination Saira Afzal Tarar paid a three day official visit to Iran to promote bilateral ties.
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In December Pakistan’s Minister for Maritime Affairs, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo visited Iran to attend the inauguration ceremony of the first phase of Chabahar port.
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Pakistan in December hosted the 28th meeting of the Regional Planning Council (RPC) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to discuss border trade markets, environment, combating natural disasters and cooperation in clean energy. Iran’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Mirshojaeian Hosseini attended the conference.
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In the same month, 1st Speakers Conference on terrorism and regional connectivity was held in Pakistan which was also attended by Iran Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani.
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In December a five day Iranian film festival was organized in Islamabad and the event attracted a good number of people.
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In the month of December an Iranian industrial exhibition was also organized in Karachi in which many Iranian companies participated and displayed their products. The Pakistani traders expressed great interest in the Iranian products.
The year also saw exchange of lots of trade, sports delegations between the two friendly countries.
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In December Iran and Pakistan had also co-sponsored a United Nations General Assembly resolution against the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize occupied Jerusalem (Beit-ul Moqaddas) as the capital of Zionist Regime of Israel, sparked anger in Pakistan from government to public level.

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