ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Wednesday expressed their “firm” resolve to boost high-level interactions to give impetus to the existing positive momentum in bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interests including economic cooperation and regional connectivity.
The understanding was reached during delegation level talks between the two countries in which Pakistan’s side was led by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Uzbek side was represented by visiting Foreign Minister Dr Abdulaziz Kamilo.
“Views were exchanged on enhancement of economic cooperation, mutual support in international fora, regional connectivity and tourism promotion,” Foreign Office said.
Outlining the vision of “Naya Pakistan” centered around economic security, Qureshi underlined the importance of shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics, to advance the goals of national economic development.
“Both sides expressed their firm resolve to boost high-level interactions to give impetus to the existing positive momentum in bilateral relations,” the Foreign Office stated in the statement, adding that it was agreed to maximally utilize the existing institutional mechanisms by regularly convening sessions of Bilateral Political Consultations and Joint Ministerial Commission.
It noted that the two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved in advancing rail connectivity between the two countries and agreed on early completion of Trans-Afghan railway project.
Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasized the importance of direct air connectivity to further trade and tourism. He also stressed facilitation of visas for businessmen and tourists.
Qureshi underlined the need to further strengthen the existing parliamentary cooperation between the two countries through exchange of visits. He welcomed the proposed “Re-connect Silk Route Conference” scheduled for July 2021.
He said that the event would help showcase Pakistani exports and products in Central Asia. He also underscored the importance of closer agricultural cooperation between the two countries particularly in cotton seed sector.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the level of cooperation between the two countries in the multilateral organizations such as the UN, OIC, ECO and SCO.
The Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s positive role for the facilitation of Intra-Afghan Negotiations. He reiterated Pakistan’s support to Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process culminating in an inclusive and broad-based political solution.
“Establishment of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan would contribute to progress on various connectivity initiatives leading to regional prosperity,” Qureshi said. He also underlined the grave and systemic human rights violations in IIOJK by Indian security forces.
Foreign Minister Kamilov extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Qureshi to participate in the Central Asia- South Asia Connectivity Conference to be held in Tashkent in July 2021.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021