PM Imran, Uzbek President vow to expand multifaceted bilateral cooperation

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TASHKENT – Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev agreed to expand multifaceted bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and stressed the importance of closer coordination based on coinciding positions in the international arena.

Pakistan’s premier reached Uzbekistan earlier today on two-day long official visit (July 15-16).

The leaders decided to use the existing political and economic mechanisms between the two countries, including consultations between Ministries of Foreign Affairs, said a joint declaration.

Both high ups exchanged views on the current status of bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen their multifaceted ties in political, trade and economic, energy, communication, science and technology, education and cultural spheres.

The two leaders also exchanged views on issues of international and regional significance including the situation related to COVID-19 and agreed to build further cooperation in this regard.

Reaffirming their commitment to strengthening fraternal ties, based on religious, cultural and historical commonalities, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the continued progress in bilateral relations and announced the establishment of a strategic partnership for mutual benefit of the two countries and nations.

Noting that Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1991, they congratulated each other on approaching the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two brotherly countries and agreed to celebrate it in a befitting manner.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the growing pace of inter-parliamentary cooperation and agreed on the regular exchange of parliamentary delegations to further deepen bilateral ties.

PM Khan underlined the importance of structured engagement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan under the five pillars of Pakistan’s “Vision Central Asia” policy i.e political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts.

He also outlined his vision of “Naya” Pakistan embedded in values of social justice, education for all, peace, prosperity and economic development of the people.

The leaders expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral cooperation within the framework of international organizations and reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting each other in the UN, SCO, OIC, ECO and other international and regional forums on issues of mutual interest.

As members of the UN Human Rights Council, the Parties expressed their readiness for joint action to suppress violations of human rights and counter Islamophobia, as well as strengthening interfaith harmony.

PM Khan emphasized on the urgent need for peaceful resolution of all outstanding regional disputes and conflicts to fully utilize the enormous potential of connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia

Pakistan, Uzbekistan for peaceful Resolution of Afghan conflict

The leaders discussed the security situation in detail in Afghanistan and the ongoing peace process. The parties stressed the necessity to resolve the conflict through Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process through peaceful and inclusive negotiations resulting in comprehensive political settlement.

President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the role of Pakistan in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s contributions to socio-economic development of Afghanistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan hailed Uzbekistan’s efforts for the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of a number of significant projects, the main one of which is the construction of the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway.

Defence Cooperation

Both leaders expressed their readiness to maintain a regular dialogue and build constructive cooperation in the field of security and defence. Expressing satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the Defence Ministries, the leaders agreed to continue cooperation in conducting joint military exercises and trainings, as well as in the field of vocational training and the exchange of professional expertise between the militaries of the two countries.

The parties expressed their readiness to expand cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries, in particular, in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Trade Ties

The leaders agreed that trade and economic cooperation is a key priority for strengthening the partnership between the two countries.

Recognizing the enormous economic potential to further build up mutually beneficial relations, the parties agreed to increase the volume of bilateral trade through diversification of trade, expansion of business contacts, exchange of trade delegations and simplification of the visa regime.

They welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Transit Trade as an important tool for expanding bilateral trade.

Both leaders noted the importance of regular meetings of the Joint Uzbek-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific and Technical cooperation.

The parties emphasized the role of the Joint Business Council between the two countries and agreed to establish direct business ties between Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the private sector. They also agreed to organize trade exhibitions and business forums on regular basis to promote bilateral trade.

They recognized the necessity to create a more conducive environment for investors in the two countries, in particular, to encourage and facilitate joint investments, confirmed the existence of broad opportunities for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, leather and chemical industries, energy, and information technology and agreed to develop mutual cooperation in these sectors.

Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway project

They reiterated their support for the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway project as an important initiative to create a rail link from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan and the Pakistani seaports of Karachi, Gwadar and Bin Qasim.

The parties also welcomed the proposed expedition of representatives of the relevant ministries and departments of Uzbekistan and Pakistan along the route of the railway line in near future with appropriate security measures for the representatives of both sides.

CPEC

The two leaders also recognized immense potential of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the benefit of the entire Central Asian region and beyond entailing greater connectivity and trade linkages through a network of transport, fiber optic cable, energy pipelines, and investment opportunities in its SEZs.

The two leaders welcomed the resumption of direct regular flights between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

PM Imran Invites Uzbek President to visit Pakistan

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Uzbek side for the cordial and warm welcome extended to the Pakistan delegation in Uzbekistan and invited the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan at a convenient time. Uzbek side accepted the invitation with appreciation. The dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/pakistan/

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