Saturday, 02 April, 2016

Iran’s president due in Austria next week


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani plans to pay an official visit to Austria next week to hold talks with senior officials of the Central European country on ways to promote bilateral relations in diverse political and economic areas.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, President Rouhani will arrive in Vienna on Wednesday, March 30, at the invitation of his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer, the deputy head for communications and information at the Iranian president’s office, Parviz Esmaeili, told Tasnim.

During the visit, which will be in response to an official visit to Tehran by Fischer back in September 2015, several documents and agreements, including a roadmap for economic cooperation between Iran and Austria will be signed, he added.

In his two-day trip, President Rouhani is also slated to hold talks with Fischer and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on various issues, including the ties between the two countries.

In early September, Fischer made a trip to Iran at the head of a high-ranking delegation of Austria’s economic, scientific and cultural officials. He was the first head of a western state visiting Iran in years.

Pars Today

Iran to boost security and trade ties with Pakistan

President Rouhani arrived Friday in Pakistan on a landmark visit, his first since becoming president.

Iranian President and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have vowed to boost cooperation on regional security and trade during talks in Islamabad.

Rouhani said he and Sharif had agreed on Friday to fight “extremist and terrorist groups” in their countries’ shared border, as the two leaders announced the opening of two new crossing points to encourage trade long hampered by sanctions.

“We place emphasis on the need for cooperation between our two countries, on regional security,” Rouhani said, adding that issues related to energy, gas the export of electricity were also discussed.

Meanwhile, Sharif said he hopes the opening of two new crossings would contribute to “economic integration” in the region, while promoting tourism and “people to people contacts”.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Mosharraf Zaidi, a former advisor to Pakistan’s foreign ministry, said Rouhani’s visit is “proof positive” that Pakistan cannot maintain a relationship with Saudi and other Gulf countries “at the expense of a useful and functional” ties with Iran.

Rouhani’s visit is also expected to discuss a controversial gas pipeline from Iran, through Pakistan to India.

Work has stalled on the Iran-Pakistan section, which was designed to help Pakistan meet its energy needs.

Iran has invested over $2bn in the project, but Pakistan has yet to finish construction on its half of the pipeline.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said Pakistan needs Iran to supplement its energy needs as its industrial output has hit a “virtual standstill.”

Washington had for years opposed the project amid concerns over Tehran’s nuclear programme.


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