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    Thursday, 30 August 2018

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives in Pakistan

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for talks with the Pakistani leadership,South Punjab News reported.
    Iranian Foreign Minister was received by senior officials of Pakistan’s Foreign Office upon his arrival at the arrival at the airport.
    Javed Zarif will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi during his official visit, Foreign Office said.
    Earlier, answering a question about Iran's Chahbahar port, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said Chabahar and Gwadar ports are complementary to each other, and we need to move ahead jointly while securing Pakistan's interest.
    He said Pakistan and Iran have historical bilateral relations, and these visits further strengthen the relationship.
     Pakistan on Thursday said it reserves the right to ‘pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests’ with Iran in the wake of re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran by US President Donald Trump, who warned that the countries doing business with the Islamic states might also face the music.
    “We are examining the implications of the US’ re-imposed sanctions on Iran,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal told reporters at his weekly news briefing.
    “However, Pakistan, being a sovereign state, reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime,” Faisal added.
    The Trump administration recently re-imposed sanctions on Iran with warning to other countries that Washington would slap similar restrictions on the states intending to do business with Tehran.
    Relations between Pakistan and Iran have shown signs of improvement in recent months with both the countries have convergence of opinion on many regional issues including Afghanistan.
    The Iranian ambassador in a meeting with PM-in-waiting Imran Khan expressed his country’s willingness to deepen trade ties with Pakistan.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also telephoned Imran on Wednesday and congratulated him over his party’s election victory. Imran accepted Rouhani’s invitation for the visit to Tehran.
    In his victory speech, Imran called for improving ties with Pakistan’s immediate neighbours including Iran. But the latest row between Tehran and Washington would certainly test Imran’s diplomatic skills to protect Pakistan’s interests.
    Pakistan shows solidarity with Saudi Arabia
    In response to a question about the current row between Saudi Arabia and Canada, the spokesperson said Pakistan was following with “immense concern” the crisis in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada and places on record its solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    “Pakistan always supports the sovereignty of states and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states,” Faisal stressed.
    “Both these aspects are enshrined in the UN Charter and are among the basic tenets of international law, and the foundation of peaceful and friendly inter-state relations,” he further said.
    “We fully agree with the statement of the OIC Secretary General that Saudi Arabia enjoys immense respect at the regional and international level, as it does among the people of Pakistan.”
    “Pakistan stands by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in protecting its sovereignty as a matter of principle and based on the historic and brotherly relations between our two countries,” the statement added.
    The diplomatic spat began after Canada criticised Saudi Arabia for the treatment being meted out to women rights activists in the kingdom.
    The move sparked prompt action from Riyadh, which suspended trade and expelled the Canadian envoy to Saudi Arabia.
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