Jamali talks trade with Khatami
TEHRAN: Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali arrived here for an official three-day visit on Tuesday and discussed increased economic cooperation and better bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran with the Iranian president and vice president.
Mr Jamali met separately with Iranian President Muhammad Khatami and First Vice President Reza Aref and also discussed regional and international issues. Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar told reporters they had discussed six agreements covering the avoidance of double taxation, cultural exchanges, customs cooperation to prevent smuggling, and cooperation in science and technology, agriculture and livestock, that needed to be finalised.
“The prime minister also pointed out that the two countries already have an agreement for the exchange of military delegations and this needs to be activated,” he said. Mr Khatami told Iranian officials to implement all the agreements as quickly as possible, he said. Mr Khatami also said Iran would consider lifting restriction on the quarantine of Pakistani fruit, rice and meat.
The two sides agreed they had to cooperate in rebuilding Afghanistan. They also discussed Pakistan and Iran’s relations with India. Mr Aref said earlier Iran’s relations with India were in no way a hindrance to ties between Tehran and Islamabad. “We are trying to use our position to improve relations between Pakistan and India,” he said. Mr Khokhar said Mr Khatami appreciated Islamabad’s proposals on the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, but could do nothing if New Delhi did not agree to them.
Mr Khatami said Tehran wished for stronger economic ties with Islamabad. Mr Jamali told reporters at the Islami Jamhoori building after a formal reception that “close cooperation” between the two countries would “contribute to peace and security in the region.” Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi called on Mr Jamali later on Tuesday. The prime minister is to meet Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei his visit, officials said. —APP/SANA/NNI