Pakistan says Iran's President Raisi will visit next week despite tensions in the Middle East

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during Army Day parade at a military base in northern Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Raisi warned that the "tiniest invasion" by Israel would bring a "massive and harsh" response, as the region braces for potential Israeli retaliation after Iran's attack over the weekend. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Pakistan as scheduled next week despite increasing tension in the Middle East in the wake of Tehran's aerial attack on Israel, Pakistan's foreign minister said Thursday.

Ishaq Dar said Raisi will arrive in the capital, Islamabad, on April 22 on an official three-day visit.

Dar provided no further details, but the visit seems to be part of efforts by the two sides to mend ties which had briefly been strained in January, when Tehran and Islamabad carried out tit-for-tat strikes targeting militants accused of attacking each other's security forces.

But the two sides soon agreed to work together to improve security cooperation.

The visit was announced days after Iran launched unprecedented air strikes on Israel after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building.

Pakistan is among the countries that has no diplomatic relations with Israel because of the lingering issue of Palestinian statehood. Dar said Pakistan wants the issue to be settled according to U.N. resolutions.