ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 4 (UPI) -- Islamabad wants to enhance its bilateral ties with Iran in oil exploration and energy development, a financial adviser to the Pakistani prime minister said.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Syed Amir Mansour Borghei led a delegation to Islamabad to discuss bilateral cooperation in trade and finance. The deputy minister said the two countries need to normalize trade relations, Pakistani newspaper the Daily Mail reports.
For his part, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, an adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani, said Islamabad values its relationship with Iran, adding cooperation in the oil exploration sector and energy development was desired.
Islamabad and Tehran are working on a natural gas pipeline from the South Pars gas complex in the Persian Gulf to feed Pakistani markets. Pakistan is facing a looming energy crisis, with rolling blackouts plaguing parts of the country.
Washington opposes energy deals with Iran because of the potential for economic gains amid Western pressure over Iran's nuclear program.