TEHRAN (Press Shia) – In meetings with top Pakistani political officials in Islamabad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed plans for closer cooperation with Pakistan in various fields, such as the energy industry, border security, as well as business and trade.

In separate meetings in Islamabad on Monday, the visiting Iranian minister held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, and Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

In the first gathering, Zarif and the Pakistani premier held extensive talks on the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as Peace Pipeline. The two sides decided that oil ministries of the two countries follow up the issue through technical talks.

They also discussed the ways to boost bilateral trade and banking relations, work on settling border problems, and promote the multilateral, regional and international cooperation.

In another meeting, Zarif and Pakistani interior minister discussed security cooperation and border control. They also weighed plans for cooperation between Iranian and Pakistani consulates.

The top Iranian diplomat also had a meeting with the Pakistani parliament speaker, during which the two sides talked about the regional developments, particularly the crises in Syria and Yemen.

Hailing Iran as a “brother of Pakistan”, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said the next meeting of parliament speakers of six counties will be held in Tehran.

In December, Islamabad played host to a 2-day conference of heads of parliament from Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, and Afghanistan.

Zarif is in Pakistan for an official three-day visit. He 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.