ISLAMABAD  - Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on Sunday met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran and discussed matters relating to economic and trade relations between the two Muslim countries.

Emphasising the significance of economic relations between the two countries, the Senate Chairman, who is visiting Iran, said Pakistan could offer many items to Iran, including wheat and textile. He said the potential of both the countries should be fully exploited to the benefit of their people, said a message received here from Tehran.

Referring to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Bokhari said that Iran’s gas could help Pakistan in overcoming the energy crisis in Pakistan. Describing Pakistan and Iran as two major countries in the region, Bokhari said that the cooperation between the two countries could establish peace and stability in the region.

Earlier, Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari has said that guiding principles of Pakistan’s foreign policy are based on the internationally recognised principles of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs of other States, respect for territorial integrity, non-aggression and peaceful settlement of disputes.

He stated this while addressing the Majlis Shura Islami (Iranian Parliament) here on Sunday.

He said that Pakistan believes that in the present globalised world, the multifaceted problems could be resolved through proactive participation in multilateral institutions and organisations.

“We are committed to finding a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute”, the Chairman Senate stated.

Regarding bilateral ties, he remarked that Pakistan and Iran share common perceptions on international and regional issues and closely cooperate in international forums.

He mentioned that Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan after it became an independent State in 1947 and now the two countries share more than six decades of close fraternal relations which have stood the test of time.

He expressed his satisfaction that Pakistan-Iran relations that have smoothly progressed over the years into an equation based on principles of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.

Nayyer Bokhari further said that there is a strong bond of affinity between the leaderships of the two countries.

President Ahmedinejad was the first Head of State to visit Pakistan after the present govt took office in 2008.

He again visited Pakistan earlier this year in February 2012.

Zardari has visited Iran four times since taking over as the President of Pakistan. He said Iran and Pakistan are two important players in the region, sharing common borders, their unique strategic location place them in a way that the nature and content of their bilateral relations is bound to have a profound impact on the peace and stability of the entire region.

The Chairman Senate observed that a number of important projects between the two countries are in the pipeline.

These include the Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline project through which Pakistan will receive gas from Iran by December 2014; a project for the supply of 100 mw electricity by Iran to the Pakistan port city of Gwadar; and a project for the supply of additional 1,000 mw electricity by Iran to Pakistan.

He emphasised that it is time to move towards a more multi-faceted and a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship in all areas, particularly trade and investment, energy, security, communication and infrastructure.

Nayyer Bokhari underlined the need that Pakistan-Iran inter-Parliamentary relations should be strengthened alongside our economic and trade linkages. “Close cooperation among our Parliaments is very essential to bring people closer to each other,” he said.

“It will provide us a mechanism through which we can make a difference in promoting shared ideals of democracy, peace and development”, Bokhari said.

Being victims of terrorism, he observed that the two countries are determined to fight and eliminate this scourge and oppose it in all its forms and manifestations.

He called upon the leaders of the entire Muslim Ummah to build energies and work for the well being, prosperity and betterment of Muslim World.

The Chairman Senate thanked Speaker of Majlis Shura Islami (Iranian Parliament) Dr. Ali Larijani, the members of the Majlis and the Government and people of Iran for the warm hospitality in Iran.

The Chairman Senate also visited the Shrine of Hazrat Imam Reza (AS) and the holy city of Qom. He also thanked Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani for the unique opportunity to address fellow members of the Shura and Iranian friends and brothers, who have always been close to hearts.

“I am confident that Pakistan and Iran relations will continue to flourish in the days and years ahead and grow into a more mutually beneficial relationship”, Bokhari observed.

He said that Pakistan deeply treasures and values its fraternal ties with Iran as two countries enjoy a unique relationship that draws strength from the abiding kinship of common faith, cultural affinities and shared traditions that go many centuries back.

Our complete trust in each other and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues, has lent extra depth to our already strong ties, he added.