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Pakistan eyes trade talks during Iran President’s visit

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a news conference with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann in Tehran February 27, 2016.REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTS88J7

Islamabad: After the historic removal of international sanctions on Iran, Pakistan is all prepared to improve its trade relations with Tehran as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to visit Islamabad later this week.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his desire to strengthen relations with Iran during a meeting with Iranian envoy Mehdi Honardoost yesterday.

“The visit will be a great opportunity for us to review the whole range of bilateral relations and further strengthen our brotherly ties,” an official statement quoted Sharif as saying, reports the Express Tribune.

Congratulating the ambassador on his new assignment, the Prime Minister hoped that the former would make valuable contributions in strengthening bilateral relations between both countries.

He added that Islamabad greatly values its fraternal ties with Iran and considers Tehran to be a close friend and neighbour.

“We are pleased to note that international economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted, paving the way for expeditious resumption of commercial and economic ties between our countries. I am looking forward to welcoming President Rouhani later this week,” said Sharif.

Prime Minister Sharif had on his visit to Iran this January invited the Iranian President to visit Pakistan.

Rouhani will be accompanied by a high-ranking political team and a large trade and economic contingent. This would be the first visit by an Iranian President to Pakistan in four years.

The two countries are likely to push for the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project during the Iranian President’s visit.

This project was commissioned in December 2014 but was stalled after sanctions were placed on Tehran.

Pakistan views this visit as great opportunity to improve bilateral relations with Iran. (ANI)