Wed May 3, 2017 4:51PM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are pictured prior to their meeting in Islamabad on May 3, 2017. (Photos by IRNA)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are pictured prior to their meeting in Islamabad on May 3, 2017. (Photos by IRNA)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran and Islamabad have agreed to increase cooperation to boost security at the two countries’ border areas.

“During my meeting today with Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, he promised to deploy army forces to the border regions with Iran… within the coming weeks to boost border security and prevent the repetition of bitter incidents like last week’s terrorist attack that resulted in the martyrdom of a number of our country’s brave border guards,” Zarif told reporters on Wednesday at the end of his one-day visit to Islamabad.

On May 26, 10 Iranian border guards were killed and two others injured in an ambush near the town of Mirjaveh in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan.

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The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was launched from the Pakistani soil. The assailants escaped into Pakistani territory immediately after the attack.

Zarif said he had held “good” talks with senior Pakistani officials, adding that the two sides had agreed to set up a joint security committee in the near future.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with Pakistani army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in Islamabad on May 3, 2017.

He noted that the recent attack against the Iranian border guards could not be justified, adding, “The Pakistani government also believes that such incidents endanger the security of not only Iran and Pakistan, but also that of the region, and that the terrorist groups are common enemies of Iran and Pakistan and the entire region.”

The Iranian foreign minister added that he had asked both the Pakistani premier and army chief to secure the release of an Iranian border guard, who was taken hostage by the terrorists during last Wednesday’s attack.

Zarif visited Pakistan at the head of a high-ranking political, military, law enforcement and security delegation to address the deadly border area attack and hold talks with senior Pakistani officials.

Earlier in the day, he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during which the two sides discussed the Mirjaveh attack and underlined the need to address border issues to prevent similar attacks.  

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meet in Islamabad on May 3, 2017. 

The top Iranian diplomat also sat down with Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) shakes hands with Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, in Islamabad on May 3, 2017.

During their meeting, the Pakistani official extended his condolences to Iran over the terrorist attack and expressed Islamabad’s readiness to fully cooperate with Tehran in the fight against terrorism.

For his part, Zarif welcomed further cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in different sectors.

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