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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Islamabad on March 11 to lead a delegation of political and business officials, Pakistan state television reports.

Zarif is scheduled to hold talks with the Pakistani Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, and other top officials during his three-day visit.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Zarif's visit "is part of regular bilateral political consultations held between both sides."

Pakistan and Iran have had close ties, but tensions rose recently when Pakistan said it was sending a 'contingent of troops' to train and advise Tehran's bitter rival, Saudi Arabia, which is fighting against Iran-allied Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Zarif will participate in the Iran-Pakistan Joint Economic Forum in Pakistan's commercial center of Karachi on March 13.

Based on reporting by AP, The Tehran Times, Arab News Pakistan, and The Daily Pakistan

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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