APP46-22 TEHRAN: April 22 - Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Hassan Rouhani witnessing the signing of the Declaration of Cooperation in the field of Health between the Ministry of NHSR & C Pakistan and Ministry of Health and Medical Education Iran. APP

ISLAMABAD, Apr 22 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan, in line with his government’s approach to meaningfully strengthen its relations with all neighbouring countries, paid a two-day official visit to Iran from April 21 to 22 on the invitation of President Dr Hassan Rouhani.
In the first leg of visit, which was his first to the brotherly, neighbouring country since assuming office in August 2018, the prime minister visited the holy city of Mashhad and paid respects at the shrine of Imam Raza (A.S.), a Foreign Office statement issued here on Monday said.
Iran is an important Muslim neighbour having centuries old people-to-people, religious and cultural affinities with Pakistan.
  In Tehran, the prime minister held in-depth one-on-one and delegation-level talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and called on the Iranian Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
This first leadership level interaction between the two sides enabled strengthening of the mutual understanding on important issues in bilateral, regional and international domains, the statement added.
The prime minister was accompanied by a high level delegation including Dr Shireen M Mazari, Minister for Human Rights, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Maritime Affairs, Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Zafarullah Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services and Regulation, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Nadeem Baber, Special Assistant of the Prime Minister on Petroleum.
They also held separate meetings with their respective Iranian counterparts to discuss matters pertaining to their individual areas.
  Bilaterally, the two sides exchanged views on issues related to Pakistan-Iran border security; facilitation of Pakistani pilgrims and Zaireen travelling every year in large numbers to Iran; overcoming hindrances in promotion of bilateral trade and economic activity; opening of new border crossing points, establishment of new border market; enhancing cooperation in energy, consular, health, railways sectors; and promotion of cultural collaboration, tourism and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
  In the regional domain, both Pakistan and Iran agreed to join hands for promoting efforts for peace in Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution and evolving a broader regional consensus in this regard.
  During the visit, the Prime Minister also addressed the Pakistani and Iranian business community, highlighting the need for private sector’s proactive role in realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and economic relations.
 At conclusion of the visit the two sides issued a comprehensive Joint Statement outlining the outcomes of Prime Minister’s extensive talks with the Iranian President.
The important outcomes, as contained in the Joint Statement, are listed below:
-Signing of Declaration for Cooperation in Healthcare Sector.
-Pakistan welcomed the initiation of the process for release of a number of Pakistani prisoners by the Government of Iran and their repatriation to Pakistan.
-Next meeting of the Joint Consular Commission to be held in Islamabad in 2nd half of 2019.
-10th round of Security Committee to be held in Islamabad in June 2019.
-2nd round of High Border Commission in Islamabad in May 2019.
-21st round of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Islamabad in 2nd half of 2019.
-Next round of Joint Committee on Trade to meet in Islamabad in first week of July 2019.
-Early opening of new crossing points at Gabd-Reemdan and Mand-Pishien and agreement in principle on opening of new border market to be discussed during the High Border Commission.
-Agreement to promote broader regional consensus on an Afghan-owned, Afghan led peace process and an amicable solution.
-Call for peaceful solution of Jammu & Kashmir dispute based on the will of the Kashmiri people and in line with the UNSC Resolutions.
-Acceptance of official invitation extended by Prime Minister Imran Khan to President Rouhani for a visit to Pakistan.