Iranian President Concludes Productive 3-Day Visit to Pakistan, Strengthening Ties

Iranian President Raisi's successful 3-day visit to Pakistan saw the signing of 8 MoUs, pledges to boost trade to $10B, and a united front against terrorism, showcasing the strong Iran-Pakistan partnership.

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Iranian President Concludes Productive 3-Day Visit to Pakistan, Strengthening Ties

Iranian President Concludes Productive 3-Day Visit to Pakistan, Strengthening Ties

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi wrapped up a successful 3-day visit to Pakistan on Monday, April 24, 2023. During his trip, Raisi held high-level meetings with Pakistan's top leadership, including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Army Chief Gen. Asim Munir, focusing on combating terrorism and bolstering bilateral trade relations.

The two sides signed eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation in various fields such as trade, science, technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters. They also pledged to increase bilateral trade volume to $10 billion in the coming years, up from the current level of around $1.5 billion.

Raisi's visit included stops in Lahore and Karachi, where he met with provincial officials and visited the mausoleums of renowned poets Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The University of Karachi also conferred an honorary PhD degree upon the Iranian President during his visit.

Why this matters: The visit underscores the strong historical and cultural ties between Iran and Pakistan, and the commitment of both countries to deepen their strategic partnership. It also highlights the challenges they face in expanding economic cooperation due to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

In addition to trade, the two countries agreed to develop a united front against terrorism, particularly against Afghanistan-based militants that threaten regional security. They pledged to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism and security matters, and to work towards establishing new border markets, crossings, and economic free trade zones to facilitate trade and people-to-people contacts.

Expressing his affinity with Pakistan, Raisi remarked, "I do not feel alienated in Pakistan." His comment reflected the special bond and shared history between the peoples of Iran and Pakistan.

The visit also touched upon regional issues, with the two sides condemning the recent suspected Israeli airstrike on an Iranian consular building in Syria. They called for the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and diplomacy, including on the long-standing issue of Kashmir.

Raisi's productive visit to Pakistan served to solidify the fraternal ties between the two neighboring countries. The signing of multiple agreements and the commitment to boost trade and cooperate on security matters signaled a strengthening of the Iran-Pakistan partnership. As Raisi returned to Tehran, both sides expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of the trip and vowed to work together to implement the decisions reached during the high-level meetings.

Key Takeaways

  • Raisi concluded 3-day visit to Pakistan, met top leadership
  • 8 MoUs signed to enhance cooperation in trade, security, etc.
  • Pledged to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion from $1.5 billion
  • Agreed to develop united front against terrorism, establish border markets
  • Discussed regional issues, including condemning Israeli airstrike on Iran