LAHORE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to pay a two-day official visit to Pakistan next week during which he will hold talks with the Pakistani leadership on bilateral economic, defence and energy ties.
Ahmadinejad will meet with Pakistani Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari with reference to expanding Tehran-Islamabad relations and the leaders will discuss the latest international and regional developments.
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“It will be, hence, a bilateral visit of the Iranian president to Islamabad during which he would deliberate not only on the expansion of bilateral ties in the sectors of defence and economy, but also discuss the regional and global situation with Pakistani leaders with a focus on Afghanistan and the current row between Islamabad and Washington,” the Pakistan Today reports.
This is the second visit by Ahmadinejad in three years and it will be in response to the visits of President Zardari to Tehran in the recent months. Last time it was April 2008 when he visited Islamabad briefly on his way to Sri Lanka.
In a meeting between the then Pakistani President – General Pervez Musharraf – and Ahmadinejad, the two countries agreed to go ahead with the $ 7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project despite opposition from the United States.
Ahmadinejad will again visit Islamabad after a month as Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan will have next round of the trilateral meeting in Islamabad which is supposed to be held in November. The meeting had to be held earlier but it has been delayed due to the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The first round of the trilateral meeting was held in June this year.