Rouhani gives Pakistani PM Imran Khan warm welcome ahead of key talks

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has extended a formal welcome to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, whose historic visit to Tehran is expected to kick off a new era in relations between the two neighbors.

Khan and his high-profile delegation touched down in Tehran on Sunday night after a brief stop in the northeastern city of Mashhad, where the premier paid a visit to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Shia Imam. Rouhani led the welcome ceremony for Khan at Sa’adabad Palace on Monday morning, where they were expected to hold a closed-door meeting on a range of issues, including border security. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Road and Industry Mohammad Eslami and a few other high-ranking members of the cabinet were also present at the ceremony.

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Khan is expected to meet later with Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The sensitive issue of border security is expected to dominate the conversation between Iranian and Pakistani officials. Ahead of the visit, families of several Iranian border guards killed by terror groups wrote to Khan and asked him to take swift action against groups freely crossing into Iranian territories from Pakistan.

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