Pakistan, Uzbekistan for stronger bilateral trade, economic ties

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Thursday discussed a comprehensive roadmap for boosting bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation and agreed to continue their dialogue for closer collaboration in all areas.

Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, who undertook an official visit to Pakistan on Thursday along with a high-level delegation, paid a courtesy call on PM Imran Khan and conveyed the felicitations of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his successful election.

PM Khan reciprocated by conveying his best wishes to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and appreciated his vision for rapid socio-economic development and enhanced international outreach of Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek Foreign Minister also conveyed his president’s proposal for railway connectivity between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

The premier expressed his desire to witness a rapid increase in the bilateral economic cooperation in the coming years and ensured full support of his government to President Mirziyoyev’s efforts in achieving lasting peace and stability in the region and beyond.

He also extended an invitation for President Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

Earlier, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Kamilov and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a press stakeout at the conclusion of their bilateral talks at the Foreign Office (FO), were unanimous in their views that peace and stability in the region are vital for progress and development of both countries.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi receives Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad

FM Qureshi mentioned the letter of the Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that it gave a new direction to their ties and paved the way for “very meaningful engagement” between the two countries, by proposing road and rail connectivity, which he said has a wide regional and international support.

He was positive that the ties between the two countries would get a further boost in the days ahead. He said that the two countries have turned a new page in their ties. He also said the two countries have a great opportunity in enhancing their bilateral ties in many new areas besides tourism.

FM Kamilov said that the discussions focused on cooperation in trade, investment and economy besides development projects related to road and rail communications. He hoped that greater people-to-people contacts would bring the two countries further closer. He said that the two countries were also cooperating on issues of security, adding that the head of Uzbekistan’s National Security was also part of his delegation.

He mentioned the mutual understanding and respect shown by both the sides and said that the two countries would continue cooperation in all areas.

He said that Pakistan is an important country in the region and can play its part in bringing peace and stability.

The two foreign ministers were unanimous in their views on Afghanistan and stressed the need for peace and stability and termed it vital for the progress of the region.

FM Qureshi said that both the countries feel that there is no military solution to the issues in Afghanistan and there is a need to resolve the matter through talks.

FM Kamilov, who was on his second visit to Pakistan, invited FM Qureshi and said that the two countries can identify new areas of cooperation.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif had called on PM Khan and conveyed personal greetings and commitment of Iranian President Rouhani to work closely with Pakistan for further strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.