1054 GMT December 13, 2017
Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Tehran on Saturday.
He added that Iran and Pakistan enjoy very good relations not only in the diplomatic arena but also in parliamentary, security and economic sectors, expressing the Islamic Republic’s readiness to further expand such ties.
“We welcome Islamabad’s participation in the project to develop [Iran’s southeastern] port of Chabahar,” Zarif said.
Chabahar is located on the Gulf of Oman, on the border with Pakistan. It is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean.
“The security of Pakistan is of high significance for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the top Iranian diplomat also pointed out.
The top Pakistani parliamentarian said Tehran and Islamabad share views on the importance of the establishment of peace and security in the region and the reinforcement of unity in the Muslim world.
He called on Iran to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction throughout Pakistan.
Zarif and Sadiq also urged a joint campaign against terrorism and extremist groups.
The Pakistani official also held talks with Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.
In a press conference with Sadiq, Larijani said Iran and Pakistan are trying to establish peace and sustainable security in the region, IRNA reported.
Larijani said the Islamic Republic and Pakistan have “very close” views on approaches towards solving regional issues, stressing that the two countries play an influential role in the fight against terrorism.
Referring to Pakistan as a friendly neighboring country, Larijani said that the country plays a major role in promoting peace in the region.
He added that Tehran and Islamabad sought to bolster economic cooperation and called for adopting necessary strategies to increase the level of trade ties to nearly USD 5 billion.
The Pakistani official also said that they discussed expansion of bilateral and parliamentary relations as well as fighting terrorism.
Sadiq added that issues of discontent were also raised during the meeting, however, he stressed that it was not in line with damaging the relations but to strengthen them.
Sadiq further said his country attached importance to bolstering relations with Iran, adding that the two sides would not allow minor differences to turn into major issues.
He noted that Iran and Pakistan had agreed to improve military cooperation and hold regular meetings between the security advisors of the two countries.