Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (L) shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) during a welcoming ceremony at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya on October 7, 2016.Rouhani is on his first official visit to Malaysia. AFP Photo

PUTRAJAYA: Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani arrived at the administrative capital here today, kickstarting his official two-day visit to Malaysia.

He was greeted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This marked Rouhani’s first ever visit to the country since assuming the presidency in 2013.

He was accompanied by Iran Foreign Minister Dr Mohamad Javad Zarif, senior cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

He reached the Perdana Square at 4.25pm and accorded an official welcome by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment.

Also present to greet them were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, cabinet ministers, ambassadors and senior officials.

Najib and Rouhani are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting, discussing matters of mutual benefits for both nations.

Iran is an important trading partner for Malaysia. Between January and June 2016, the total trade between both countries stood at RM1.03 billion (USD250.03 million), an increase of 11.7 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2015.

Malaysia’s major export to Iran in 2015 were palm oil (RM950 million), chemicals and chemical products (RM226 million), and crude natural rubber (RM222 million), while Iran’s major imports to Malaysia were agricultural products (RM61 million), petroleum products (RM35 million) and crude fertilizers and minerals (RM17 million).

Both leaders are also scheduled to witness a signing ceremony of an extradition treaty between Malaysia and Iran.

After the meeting, the prime minister will host an official dinner for Rouhani and the Iranian delegation.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry, in a statement had said that Rouhani's visit to Malaysia was part of his tour to the Southeast Asian region, with stops in Vietnam and Thailand.

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