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Iran's Ebrahim Raisi In Pakistan: Both Countries Vow To Fight Terrorism In Meet Months After Tit-For-Tat Strikes

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in Pakistan on a three-day trip, which comes months after tit-for-tat missile attacks between the two countries, to discuss regional and bilateral relations. Raisi's visit comes days after Iran carried out a drone and missile salvo on Israel to avenge an April 1 attack it believes Tel Aviv was behind.

AP
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, left, shakes hand with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif prior to their meeting at prime minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 22, 2024. Photo: AP
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Iran President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Pakistan has been making headlines as his trip comes amid Middle East tensions and months after the two neighbours carried out tit-for-tat air strikes against alleged terrorist hideouts on rival lands.

Ebrahim Raisi is the first head of state of any country to visit Pakistan after the February 8 general elections.

Raisi was on Monday welcomed by Sharif at the Prime Minister House where the Iranian leader inspected the Guard of Honour. Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held talks in which they agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism and discussed ways to promote bilateral ties at political, economic, trade and cultural levels.

During the joint press conference with Raisi on Monday, Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue and thanked Iran for its stance. However, Iran President Raisi refrained from mentioning Kashmir and instead talked about Iran's support for those fighting against oppression especially in Palestine.

Why Is Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Visiting Pakistan

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in Pakistan on a three-day trip, which comes months after tit-for-tat missile attacks between the two countries, to discuss regional and bilateral relations. Raisi's visit comes days after Iran carried out a drone and missile salvo on Israel to avenge an April 1 attack it believes Tel Aviv was behind.

The missile assault by Iran came as a result of its vow to avenge the April 1 airstrike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals inside an Iranian consular building. Iran had accused Israel of being behind the attack. Israel did not deny or claim responsibility for it.

Raisi visit to Pakistan is also being seen as the two neighbours' attempt to mend ties after the tit-for-tat missile attacks in January.

Iran shocked Pakistan by carrying out airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts in the restive Balochistan province in January. Pakistan swiftly responded by using killer drones and rockets to carry out “precision military strikes” against what it called “terrorist hideouts” in Iran’s Siestan-Balochistan province, killing nine people.

Raisi also met General Asim Munir, the head of Pakistan’s military.

Pakistans Army Chief General Asim Munir, left, shakes hand with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi prior to their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 22, 2024
Pakistan's Army Chief General Asim Munir, left, shakes hand with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi prior to their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 22, 2024 Photo: AP
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What Did Raisi And Sharif Discuss

During their talks on Monday, Iran President Raisi and Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

The two leaders also held discussions to increase trade and communication links between their countries, it added.

In the presence of Raisi and Sharif, the Iranian and Pakistani officials signed eight documents for promoting cooperation in various fields, according to information mentioned in a PTI report.

Addressing a joint press conference, President Raisi said that Iran and Pakistan have decided to increase the trade volume to $10 billion.

"We are committed to strengthening relations at the highest levels. The Economic and trade volume between Iran and Pakistan is not acceptable. We have decided as a first step to increase trade volume between our two countries to $10bn," Raisi said.

Sharif Calls Raisi 'Ocean Of Political Intelligence'

In his remarks, Sharif said the entire Pakistani nation welcomes the visit of the Iranian President as he called for strengthening Pak-Iran ties despite challenges. "We have to keep this relationship strong despite the challenges we both face," he said.

Sharif said he had detailed discussions with President Raisi on “religious, cultural, diplomatic, investment, and security matters” during their meeting.

He described Raisi as an "ocean of political intelligence and wisdom”, and said Iran would progress further under his leadership.

"Pakistan and Iran can prosper and our borders can see progress,” Sharif said, expressing hope that the shared border can adapt for trade and business. Sharif expressed hope for the relationship between the neighbours to be “firm and stable”, noting that today was an opportunity to “make this friendship a happy and prosperous one”.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, left, walks with Pakistans Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a welcome ceremony in the prime minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 22, 2024.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, left, walks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a welcome ceremony in the prime minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 22, 2024. Photo: AP
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The two countries also signed an MoU for establishment of a special economic zone whilst another was signed for film exchanges and cooperation between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Organization of Cinema and audio visual affairs of Iran.

President Raisi also met his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and discussed key regional and global developments, particularly the situation in the Middle East.

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