TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The foreign ministers of Iran and Pakistan stressed the need for closer cooperation to ensure security of the common border.

In a meeting in Islamabad on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif explored avenues for closer political, economic, cultural and security cooperation between the two Muslim neighbors.

“It is necessary for Iran and Pakistan, two friends and neighbors with common borders, to work in strong cooperation to ensure security of their border and prevent the infiltration of terrorists,” Zarif said in the meeting.

For his part, the Pakistani minister said Islamabad favors “stable borders for the two countries.”

The two senior diplomats also held talks on other issues, including joint action for peace in Afghanistan, the war on terrorism and narcotics trafficking, Muslim world issues, banking interaction, power exports, expansion of border markets, and multilateral economic cooperation for regional peace and stability.

Zarif is in Islamabad for an official visit that includes meetings with Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The top Iranian diplomat will leave Islamabad for Karachi on March 13 before returning home.

In November 2017, Pakistan’s chief of army staff visited Tehran with a delegation of high-ranking military officials for talks with top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri.

In 2016, senior officials from Iran and Pakistan signed six memorandums of understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas, including health, commerce, security and foreign services.

The documents were signed in a ceremony in Islamabad, attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the then Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.