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Iranian President leaves after three-day Pakistan visit

KARACHI: Iranian President Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi left for Tehran along with his delegation on Wednesday after completing a three-day visit to Pakistan.

Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah saw off the distinguished guest at the Karachi airport.

During his three-day visit, the Iranian President held meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, Senate Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and the chief ministers and governors of Sindh and Punjab, the official news agency reported.

A day earlier, President Raisi, reiterating commitment to promote bilateral relations with Pakistan, said that joint measures were being contemplated to bolster political, economic, commercial and public relations for the development and prosperity of the people of both countries.

He expressed these views while addressing eminent personalities from different walks of life at the Sindh Chief Minister House. Governor Tessori, Chief Minister Shah, members of the provincial cabinet, religious scholars, representatives of the business community, higher government officials and diplomats were present on the occasion.

Dr Raisi termed the visit to Pakistan as the best opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields and said that both countries have agreed to increase bilateral trade initially to 10 billion dollars.

He said that the historical, cultural and religious relations between the two neighbouring countries were spanned over centuries and the people of both the countries were ready to work together for peace, security, development and prosperity in the region.

He said that in the recent meetings with the president, prime minister and other higher officials of Pakistan, it has been agreed to stabilise the Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations. He said that despite unfavourable conditions, Iran has made significant progress in industry, science and technology and is ready to exchange its skills with Pakistan.

The Iranian President while reiterating commitment to removing trade barriers and exploring various possibilities of economic cooperation said that formal trade between the two countries is in the best interest of the people on both sides of the border while further strengthening the close relations will further bolster bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.

He said that he brought a message of peace to the people of Pakistan on behalf of the leadership and nation of Iran.

Dr Raisi emphasised on the need for unity and solidarity in the Muslim Ummah and said that all Muslim countries have to reach an agreement to deal with the pressing challenges.

While strongly condemning the Zionist aggression in Palestine and Gaza, he urged the international organisations to play their due role for stopping the atrocities being committed on the innocent people of Palestine.

The people of Palestine defeated the usurping Zionist forces with their struggle and perseverance, he said, adding that the freedom of Palestine and Al-Quds is the first and foremost priority of the Islamic Ummah.

The Iranian President paid tribute to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and said that they struggled against the colonialism and gained freedom for the Muslims of the subcontinent.

He appreciated the people of Pakistan for expressing solidarity with Iran in every difficult hour and said that the Iranian people have feelings of love for Pakistan.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah welcomed the Iranian President and members of his delegation to Karachi and said that centuries old religious and cultural ties between Pakistan and Iran have strengthened with time.

“From Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to President Asif Ali Zardari, the leadership of PPP has always attached importance to the relations with Iran and we are determined to work together for the development and prosperity of the people of both countries,” he said.

He stressed that both the countries have to work together to eliminate the menace of terrorism and illegal trade and to deal with the implications of environmental changes.

Emphasising the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN resolutions, he said “we all should unite and support our Palestinian brothers”.

CM Shah also highlighted the investment opportunities in Sindh and said that the Sindh government was willing to promote trade, economic and investment relations with Iran.

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