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EghtesadOnline: Bilateral trade cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, with an special focus on Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, expected to be high on the agenda of the upcoming meeting between Iran's President and Pakistan's Prime Minister in New York, says Pakistani diplomat.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is going to meet President Hassan Rouhani in few hours on the sidelines of the UN 71st General Assembly meeting in New York.

In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency on Wednesday, Asif Ezdi, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Germany said that trade relations and electricity imports to Pakistan would also come under discussion.

“I think there are a number of possibilities for the cooperation in terms of energy cooperation and also the gas pipeline and I expect that these two issues will come up for the discussions when the two leaders will meet in New York,” Ezdi said. 

The analyst said the gas pipeline project tends to be of great importance to Pakistan and so far as a result of the international sanctions against Iran, this issue has remained to be delayed for a long time but now there is a window of opportunity for the project to gain momentum. 

“Most important issue for us in economic terms is the gas pipeline project. Iran is a country with which we have had very important strategic relationship for the last 70 years and that relationship needs to be taken forward,” he said. 

Asif Ezdi added that Indians have recently signed an agreement for development of Chabahar port but Pakistan is not concerned with that. 
“If it is something that serves the Iranian interest, we have no objection to that,” he said.

“Iran is of course has its economic interest to look after and if India can provide the funds for developing a port in Iran there is no harm in that,” he said. 

The expert on international affairs went on to say that in addition to the bilateral issues the Prime Minister will raise the situation in Indian Kashmir. 

“Iran has already expressed support for the right of self determination of the Kahsmiri people.” 

Asif Ezdi also said that the situation of Afghanistan will certainly be discussed in the meeting of President Rouhani and Nawaz Sharif and they will inspect how the neighboring countries can contribute to the reconciliation between Taliban and the Afghan government.

Hassan Rouhani Nawaz Sharif Iran-Pakistan ties trade ties gas pipeline project