Iran’s foreign minister arrives in Pakistan, will hold meeting with PM Khan

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Iran’s foreign minister arrives in Pakistan, will hold meeting with PM Khan

*ISLAMABAD - Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will arrive on a two-day visit of Pakistan on Thursday (today).*

The visiting foreign minister will hold talks with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a one-on-one meeting to discuss bilateral relations and expansion of cooperation in various fields.

Zarif will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan. PM Khan has expressed intention to improve and strengthen Pakistan’s ties with neighboring country Iran.

Zarif is also expected to hold meetings with political and military leaders during his visit of Pakistan.

It is first visit of Pakistan by a foreign minister after installation of the new government in Islamabad.

Announcing the visit earlier in August, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the Iran and Pakistan maintain brotherly ties and the two countries are interested in keeping security along the common borders.

A key barometer of the improving ties for Iran is whether Pakistan step up for the long-stalled Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline—a project first initiated in 1995. The $7.5 billion project, touted as delivering 21.5 million cubic metres of gas to energy-starved Pakistan, has been opposed by the US for years as part of Washington’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Mr Zarif is likely to be keen on re-starting the project, as it will provide much-needed income to an Iranian economy under siege from US sanctions.