Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday and discussed bilateral relations as well as matters related to the forthcoming summit of the countries of the D-8 group in Islamabad.
Zardari told his Iranian counterpart that his participation in the summit would not only help push forward its agenda but also provide an impetus to further strengthening relations between Pakistan and Iran, according to the president’s spokesman.
Presidents Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, Susilo Bambang Yudhovono of Indonesia, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey will attend the November 22 summit, it was officially stated here.
Malaysia is likely to be represented by its deputy prime minister and Bangladesh by its foreign minister.
Inaugurating a D-8 trade exhibition here Monday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf emphasized the need for free trade agreements and removal of trade barriers to bolster trade among the eight countries.
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Turkey have put their products on display at the exhibition.
Ashraf said the member countries should work togetherâ in partnership and in harmonyâ to take trade to five hundred billion dollars by 2018.
The prime minister said the D-8 Governments have taken many a practical steps to facilitate promotion of trade during the past fifteen years.
Important framework agreements have been put in placeâ such as Preferential Trade Agreement and accords on Visa facilitation and cooperation on customs matters. Forums have also been created to promote institutional linkages among the business community, the prime minister said.