Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has held a bilateral meeting with the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Kakar is in the big Apple on a five-day visit along with a sizable delegation to attend the annual UN session. He will address the UNGA on Friday and is expected to meet Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He will also attend a reception hosted by President Joe Biden in the honor of the global leaders.
Pakistani media reported that during the meeting, one of very few Kakar has had on September 19, he underscored the close fraternal relations between the two neighboring countries. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to further strengthen and deepen his country’s often tricky relations with Iran, with a “particular focus on enhancing cooperation in the economic domain”.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar meeting with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly being held in New York. 19th September, 2023.#PMKakarAtUNGA@anwaar_kakar pic.twitter.com/evQ2LBxK9V
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) September 19, 2023
Noting that President Raisi’s policy of ‘Neighborhood First’ was fully aligned with Pakistan’s vision for regional development and connectivity, the interim prime minister stressed the importance for both countries to leverage their unique geographical location to promote shared objectives of regional peace and prosperity, through greater trade and enhanced regional connectivity.
IRNA news agency quoted President Raisi as saying that the international developments will not affect good relations between Tehran and Islamabad. He also said, “From Iran’s point of view, the border with the neighboring country of Pakistan is an opportunity to develop trade exchanges.”
According to IRNA, the Iranian president described the level of relations between the two countries “insufficient” considering the existing capacities and capabilities and emphasized the necessity of efforts of Iranian and Pakistani officials to speed up the removal of existing obstacles in the path of development of relations between the two countries by using innovative plans and methods.
— Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (@anwaar_kakar) September 19, 2023
Earlier, in his speech at the UNGA, Raisi claimed that the “Americanization project” for the world had completely failed. “The Iranian nation prides itself on playing, thanks to the Islamic Revolution, the biggest role in unmasking the imperialists in the East and West,” he added. Raisi condemned the desecration of the Muslim holy book after such recent incidents in Sweden.
The visiting Pakistani caretaker PM attended the opening session of the UNGA at the UN headquarters. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres inaugurated the 78th session of the UNGA, on the theme of “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.”.
The Pakistani caretaker prime minister will represent Pakistan at the high-level moot on Global Development Initiative and address the participants. He will also address a high-level meeting on Sustainable Development Goals and also interact with the international media in New York.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram said that the 78th UNGA session would help Pakistan present its viewpoint on the core world issues, including the Kashmir issue, Afghan crisis, Islamophobia, Middle East tensions, environment and economy.
“This is critical time in world’s history as tensions have increased in Asia among big powers and due to Covid and climate change the economic situation of Asian states has worsened. As a developing country, our focus at this world forum will be to ensure financial commitments from northern countries for the developing states, which are facing climate impacts,” Akram said.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, who is accompanying the prime minister, met with his counterparts from Denmark, Netherlands and Norway and discussed with them the bilateral and regional matters.