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Iran to keep boosting ties with neighbors, in particular Pakistan: Top general

The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces has emphasized that the Islamic Republic will continue the policy of enhancing brotherly relations with its neighboring countries, especially Pakistan.

Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks during a telephone conversation with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir on Sunday, one week after Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

Baqeri said President Raeisi stressed the need to expand the Iran-Pakistan ties, turn the common border into the frontier of friendship, and reinforce bilateral relations in all fields.

Similarly, he added, Amir-Abdollahian was keen on bolstering cooperation with neighboring states, particularly Pakistan, and made efforts to that aim.

Baqeri noted that Iran’s foreign policy has not changed and that the country has an unchangeable stance on developing ties with its neighbors, especially the friendly and brotherly relations with Pakistan.

“We will definitely be able to further develop the relationship between the two countries … and we will not allow any external factor to damage this friendly and brotherly bond,” he said.

Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian and six others were killed on May 19, when their helicopter crashed in foggy weather in the mountains near the northwestern border with Azerbaijan. The charred wreckage of the aircraft was found the following day.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared a day of mourning as a mark of respect for the Iranian president and foreign minister, whom he described as “good friends of Pakistan”.

He also attended the funeral ceremony of the martyred officials in Tehran.

President Raeisi had paid a three-day official visit to Pakistan just weeks before his death.

Read more:

  • ‘Inseparable bonds’: Raeisi says Iran, Pakistan resolved to boost all-level ties

Also in his remarks, Baqeri appreciated the measures taken by Pakistan following the martyrdom of the top Iranian officials.

The Pakistani Army chief voiced sympathy with Iran over the demise of President Raeisi, saying he was a source of honor not only for Iran, but also for the Islamic Ummah, and that all his efforts were directed towards unity among all of the world’s Muslims.

He further expressed dismay at the martyrdom of Amir-Abdollahian, saying, “He was like my brother and took very effective steps to unite the two brotherly and friendly nations of Iran and Pakistan.”

The government, the armed forces and the nation of Pakistan have always stood by Iran in order to strengthen mutual interaction and they will not let foreigners weaken the fraternal relationship between Tehran and Islamabad, Munir asserted.

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