Foreign Ministers of Russia and Iran meet in MoscowIranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Pakistan Tuesday night on a two-day official visit for talks on bilateral matters, focusing on economic cooperation and regional issues, officials said. A senior foreign ministry official and Iranian diplomats welcomed Zarif on his arrival in Islamabad. He will have delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and have interaction with other dignitaries, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said. He will also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to a foreign office statement. “Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s visit to Pakistan forms part of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries,” the statement sad. This is his fourth visit to Pakistan during the last two-and-a-half years. Zarif tweeted on Monday he will hold “Top-level talks on bilateral & regional issues with brothers FM @SMQureshiPTI, Army Chief Gen. Bajwa & PM @ImranKhanPTI tomo in Pakistan.” “Visit follows #IqbalDay, celebrating great Islamic scholar, intl poet & tireless promoter of Muslim unity who ties together our two nations,” he added. The foreign office statement said the visit of Zarif will help further deepen bilateral cooperation and enhance understanding on various regional issues. “Pakistan and Iran enjoy close, cordial relations founded on mutual trust and augmented by affinities of faith and culture. Bilateral collaboration between the two countries has been growing in diverse fields. The Iranian leadership has been vocal in its steadfast support on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,” the statement said. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Zarif is to head a high-ranking political and economic delegation and will have meetings with Pakistani political and military officials, according to IRNA. Sources say that Iran’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Ibrahim Taherian is also accompanying Zarif and Afghan issue will also prominently come under discussion during the talks. Pakistan and Iran support a political solution to the Afghan conflict and back the on-going intra-Afghan negotiations. Both countries have been directly affected by the 40 years of war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, IRNA in a commentary said Pakistan is a strategic, friendly and Muslim neighbor for Iran which has always been of special significance to Iranian officials, to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in particular. The current regional and international developments give double importance to a Tuesday visit to Islamabad by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Although the cordial relations between Iran and Pakistan have never been tied to extra-regional issues and the two countries have never allowed third parties to affect their relations, some recent developments in the international arena add to the significance of Zarif’s visit to the southeastern neighborly country, the commentary titled “Zarif’s visit to Pakistan focusing on strategic relations, beyond neighborhood” said. “One of the events which may give special importance to Iranian foreign minister’s visit to Pakistan is its coincidence with strong signs of the end of a unilateral and bullying government in Washington,” it said. Zarif has previously paid 10 visits to Islamabad as Iranian foreign minister which shows how important Pakistan has been for Iran as a major destination for his foreign visits. In 1947, Iran was the first country that recognized independence of Pakistan and reciprocally Pakistan was the first country to recognize Islamic Republic of Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran and Pakistan have had cordial relations both before and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Even the foreign-sponsored terrorists who occasionally carry out terrorist attacks along the joint border of the two countries to damage relations between Tehran and Pakistan, have failed to do so. However, the trade and economic relations between the two neighboring countries is not satisfactory as they, with more that 300 million people together, can provide a significant market for each other.