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Iran ready for further expansion of ties with Pakistan

21 May 2013 13:15 (UTC+04:00)
Iran ready for further expansion of ties with Pakistan

By Sara Rajabova

Iran's First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said his country is ready to increase the level of bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in all fields, particularly in oil and gas sectors, Press TV reported.

Rahimi and Pakistani political leader Nawaz Sharif, whose Muslim League Party won the last week parliamentary elections in the country, discussed avenues for the further expansion of relations between the two neighboring countries in different fields in a Monday telephone conversation.

The Iranian vice president expressed hope that Tehran and Islamabad would further improve relations during the new Pakistani government's mandate.

Rahimi said Iran supports Pakistani progress and development and voiced Tehran's readiness to meet part of Islamabad's need for gas and electricity.

In March, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the final construction phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, intended to carry natural gas from Iran to its eastern neighbor.

The joint multi-billion-dollar pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.

The IP gas pipeline is projected to come on stream in 2014. The pipeline, projected to cost $1.2-1.5 billion, will enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters per day of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

The 2,700-kilometer long pipeline is to supply gas for Pakistan and India, which are suffering from a lack of energy sources.

Besides, Iran's Vice President Rahimi further stressed the importance of more interaction and consultation between Iran and Pakistan on key regional and international developments and issues of the Muslim world.

Sharif, for his part, said Pakistan is ready to enhance the level of its relations with Iran and added that the Pakistani government would make serious efforts to achieve this goal.

The current trade volume between Iran and Pakistan stands at $1 billion. Earlier, Pakistani officials have called for an immediate increase of the trade volume between the two countries.

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