Iran urges expanding ties with Pakistan
Islamabad: Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for the expansion of Tehran-Islamabad trade and economic ties to a level worthy of the two “friendly and neighboring” countries. In a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad on Thursday, Salehi stressed the need for Tehran and Islamabad to increase their cooperation in construction, energy and power transmission sectors. The Iranian foreign minister also called for the swift implementation of the bilateral gas pipeline project. The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 8.7 billion cubic meters per year) of the Iranian natural gas to Pakistan. Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil. Salehi arrived in Pakistan for a two-day tripartite summit due to open on Friday with the presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari. Salehi once again reiterated Iran’s readiness for talks with the P5+1- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany.