Pakistan committed to all Iran projects: Zardari

Iran`s Ali Akbar Salehi met the Pakistani President to invite him to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit to be held in Tehran.

Islamabad: Pakistan is committed to the "expeditious implementation" of mega projects with Iran, including a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline, construction of the Nashki-Dalbandin road and upgrading of Quetta-Taftan railway line, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday.

Zardari made the remarks during a meeting in Karachi with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

The Iranian minister met Zardari to invite him to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit to be held in Tehran during August 26-31.

Salehi arrived in Pakistan from India after delivering a similar invitation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Zardari thanked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inviting him to the NAM Summit and said the event is an important platform for exchanging views on issues of mutual concern.

Discussing bilateral relations, Zardari expressed satisfaction at the "upward trajectory being followed by Pakistan-Iran" ties.

He emphasised the need for the two countries to take effective measures to realise the target of boosting trade to USD 10 billion a year.

Preferential tariff and free trade agreements, encouraging barter trade in local currencies, facilitating export of meat, fruits, wheat and rice from Pakistan area some of the important measures to boost trade, Zardari said.

The President said there is a need for the two countries to put in place effective arrangements to avoid untoward incidents on their border.

He called for better coordination of the border control authorities of both sides.

Discussing the regional situation and common challenges, Zardari said terrorism and extremism were a common threat and need to be confronted with joint efforts.

He said Pakistan and Iran have a "great role" to play in promoting stability, peace and development in Afghanistan.


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