TEHRAN, Mar. 12 (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s foreign minister said Iran seeks to have fully-fledged relations with Pakistan, adding it is waiting for Pakistan’s response.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in ‘Iran-Pakistan Business Forum’ in Islamabad on Monday March 12.
Iran’s top diplomat stated in the Forum “I would like to reiterate that we are still ready to meet the energy needs of Pakistan, including oil, gas and electricity.”
He further added that Iran has spent more than $2 billion on the pipeline so far in line with its obligations under Iran’s gas export contract with Pakistan, adding that Iran is waiting for practical steps by Pakistani friends to comply with their obligations under the agreement.
Stating that Pakistan ranks 8th among Iran’s top export destinations, Iran’s foreign minister added a high-level economic delegation is accompanying him on his trip to Pakistan in order to develop the economic relations with brother and friend country of Pakistan.
Zarif went on to add “on the seventieth anniversary of the establishment of relations between the two countries, I am pleased to attend a gathering that can play an important role in promoting the level of economic and commercial relations between the two countries.”
Iran’s foreign minister further elaborated on the economic and commercial relations between Iran and Pakistan, saying “given the fact that the two countries’ top officials agreed in 2016 to increase bilateral trade to up to $ 5 billion over a period of five years, additional efforts on behalf of the two sides are required to achieve that target.”
Zarif called for expansion of bilateral trade relations, saying “given the available capacities and capabilities, the two countries can increase the volume and value of their bilateral trade much more, although the main factor hindering the development of relations is the lack of banking relations between the two countries,” adding that “the most important priority in the development of economic relations between the two countries should be the establishment of banking relations.”
Iran’s top diplomat also stated that Iran welcomes joining China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding that Iran, as a result of its geo-strategic and geo-economic position in the region, can connect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Central Asia, Russia and also Europe.
Zarif added that Iran’s joining the CPEC can play as a complementary role in connecting Chabahar and Gwader ports, so that the two ports will not consider each other as rivals.