Pak, Bahrain for boosting defence, energy relations

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Bahrain invited to avail of CPEC opportunities

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said Pakistan values its ties with Bahrain and stressed the need for expanding bilateral trade between both countries.
Talking to Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Foreign Minister of Kingdom of Bahrain at PM House, the Prime Minister welcomed the important step of establishing the Joint Ministerial Commission between Pakistan and Bahrain.
The Prime Minister also appreciated the performance of Pakistan’s Ambassador Javed Malik and expressed the confidence that relations of two countries would continue to grow.
The Foreign Minister conveyed the special greetings of Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He informed the Prime Minister that the relations between both countries had been upgraded due to Joint Ministerial Commission.
The first session of the JMC is being held in Islamabad later today in which both countries will hold comprehensive discussion to expand diplomatic, economic, trade, strategic and cultural ties, he added.
Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid is leading a high-level government delegation that also includes members of the royal family of Bahrain.
The visit highlights the growing bilateral relations between Pakistan and Bahrain.
Earlier, Pakistan and Bahrain agreed to expand cooperation in energy, defence, agriculture and higher education. The understanding came at a meeting of Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission meeting here on Monday.
Later, talking to newsmen along with Foreign Minister of Bahrain Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, the Advisor said Pakistan has become more attractive for investment due to visible improvement in security situation.
He said Pakistan is committed to protect and facilitate foreign investment by offering equal opportunities both to local and foreign investors.
Sartaj Aziz said the CPEC will open new avenues of enhanced trade and economic activities in Pakistan. He said special economic zones are to be established on the routes of the corridor and this will offer attractive incentives and facilities both to domestic and foreign investors. He said Bahraini companies and investors are welcomed to consider these opportunities.
The Advisor said CPEC would also benefit the region and Bahrain and other Gulf countries would find innumerable opportunities to exploit for their goods.
They have also agreed for early activation of business council between federations of commerce of the two countries.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain said the two sides signed two MoUs today on cooperation in agriculture and diplomatic service training adding a number of other MoUs are also in the pipeline.
There should be frequent interaction between Pakistan and Bahrain to forge collaboration in different fields he said adding that the two sides have good cooperation in defence, economy and political consultations.
The Minister said besides discussing further mutual collaboration they also discussed Pakistan-GCC cooperation.
Sartaj Aziz said terrorism is a global menace and collective efforts are needed to eliminate it fully from the face of the earth. He said Pakistan is ready to cooperate with Bahrain in extending its experience in counterterrorism.
To a question, the visiting dignitary said that lasting peace in the region is not possible without the resolution of Kashmir dispute. He said Bahrain would be happy to extend every possible cooperation in amicable resolution of this longstanding issue.

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