Iran’s Foreign Minister visits Pakistan days after tit-for-tat strikes.

Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, arrived in Islamabad on Monday at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani. The visit comes amid strained relations between the two countries following recent tit-for-tat strikes. Upon his arrival at the Nur Khan airbase, Abdollahian was received by Pakistan’s Additional Foreign Secretary for Afghanistan and West Asia, Rahim Hayat Qureshi.

During his visit, Abdollahian will engage in in-depth discussions with Jilani and call on Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, in order to mend and strengthen bilateral relations. The official handle of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, confirmed Abdollahian’s visit and highlighted the importance of the talks.

The recent escalation in tensions between Iran and Pakistan began when Tehran launched missile attacks on militant bases in southwestern Pakistan on January 16. In response, Pakistan conducted strikes inside Iran on January 18. The Pakistan Army stated that the strikes targeted terrorist militant organizations, specifically the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), in an intelligence-based operation called “Marg Bar Sarmachar.”

These tit-for-tat strikes have raised concerns about further instability in the Middle East since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas in early October. However, Pakistan and Iran have recently agreed to de-escalate the situation and collaborate closely on counter-terrorism, as stated by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a telephone conversation, Jilani emphasized the importance of territorial integrity and sovereignty for both countries. He expressed Pakistan’s desire to work with Iran based on mutual trust and cooperation. The ministry emphasized the close brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran and stressed that respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty should be the foundation of their cooperation.

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