UNITED NATIONS: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has expressed his desire to be a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of 71th UNGA session.
The Iranian president lauded Islamabad’s vision for translating CPEC into reality and pointed out that connectivity projects were recognised by both countries as vital to the progress of the region. “The two leaders reiterated the complementarity between Gwadar and Chabahar sea ports that could boost regional trade exponentially in the decades ahead,” said a press release of the Pakistan Mission to the UN on Wednesday.
Further, both leaders discussed possibilities for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity, while noting with satisfaction the positive trajectory of bilateral ties between Islamabad and Tehran. "The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan's energy shortages in the coming years," said the communiqué.
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PM Nawaz said he will nominate two focal persons to finalise energy projects with Iran in coming days. The prime minister was assisted by Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, SAPM Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, among others.
The two leaders had last met during President Rouhani's visit to Islamabad this year. The lifting of international sanctions against Iran has paved the way for resumption of economic relations between the two countries with a view to realising the true potential of bilateral trade. Current trade volume remains low at US$ 268 million per annum.
The premier also stressed on the need to remain engaged at expert level to remove whatever technical delays that continue to hold back resumption of full economic cooperation between the two countries.
The Iranian president reportedly said “Pakistan's security is the security of Iran.” Opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity were also discussed during the meeting. "We consider Pakistan's economic development as our development," the president was quoted as saying. "There is a need for defence cooperation between Iran and Pakistan as there is a history of defence cooperation between the two countries," he added.
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"There is also immense need for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in the field of science and technology; we need to benefit from each other’s strong points in science and technology,” Rouhani upheld.
Earlier, the prime minister apprised Rouhani of Indian brutalities in occupied Kashmir, particularly in the past two months. “The people of held Kashmir have been victims of heinous acts of state sponsored terrorism at the hands of Indian occupation forces,” the statement quoted the premier as saying.