ISLAMABAD - Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, who is visiting Iran as a special envoy of the prime minister, called on President Dr Hassan Rouhani on Monday and conveyed him PM Nawaz Sharif’s message.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who is in Tehran for bilateral political consultations, also attended the meeting.

According to the Foreign Office, Aziz conveyed a message of friendship, brotherhood, harmony and cooperation from Prime Minister Sharif to Dr Rouhani, underscoring the desire to strengthen relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all areas of bilateral cooperation, particularly in political, security and trade domains. The adviser handed over to the Iranian president a letter of the prime minister. Prime Minister Sharif is expected to pay an official visit to Iran next month.

During the meeting, Aziz emphasised that Pakistan and Iran needed to work together for stability, peace and development of the region, and unity of Ummah. Aziz expressed the hope that bilateral relations and cooperation would gain strength during the tenure of President Rouhani and the new government of Pakistan.

Dr Rouhani stated that he was looking forward to the visit of PM Sharif, which would pave the way for enhanced cooperation and further cementing the brotherly relationship between Iran and Pakistan. He added that Iran considered Pakistan an important neighbour and brotherly country and both the countries needed to utilise substantial potential for the benefit of two countries and its peoples.

Earlier, the adviser met Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Both the leaders exchanged views covering the whole range of issues of bilateral interest. The foreign secretary was also present during the meeting.

Pakistan and Iran enjoy close brotherly relations, which are characterised by strong bonds of affinity, mutual respect and solidarity and draw strength from shared historical, cultural and Islamic values.