ISLAMABAD, MAR 30 (DNA) – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of the 9thMinisterial Conference of the Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues, particularly the Afghan peace process.
Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasized the importance of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation. Referring to the Prime Minister’s initiative to develop joint border markets, the two Foreign Ministersagreed on the need to expeditiously finalize the arrangement to facilitate legal trade and improve livelihood in the border region. The two Foreign Ministers also reviewed progress on the opening of new border crossing point.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the historic opportunity to work out an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement. He underlined the need to consolidate progress achieved in Doha process and take the process forward.Expressing concern on high level of violence, he underscored the importance of reduction in violence leading to ceasefire.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also underlined the need to be cognisant of “spoilers”, who did not wish to see return of peace and stability in the region. The Foreign Minister added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan would help in improving connectivity and promote infrastructure development in the region.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed thanks for Iran’s steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to counter Islamophobia and promote inter-faith harmony.
The two Foreign Minister agreed to remain in close contact and maintain bilateral political exchanges.=DNA