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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay an official visit to Uzbekistan on July 15-16, on the invitation of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other members of the cabinet. A large group of Pakistan’s leading businessmen will also visit Tashkent on the occasion.

The Foreign Office said the wide-ranging talks between the two leaders would cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on trade, economic cooperation and connectivity. The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. A number of agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed aimed at deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.

The Prime Minister will address the first Pakistan-Uzbekistan Business Forum. Leading businessmen from Pakistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the Forum.

Leading up to the Prime Minister’s visit, the two sides will also hold the 6th session of the Joint Inter-Governmental Commission (JIGC) and inaugural session of Joint Business Council (JBC) on 14th July 2021 in Tashkent.

On the invitation of the Uzbek President, the Prime Minister will also participate in the International Conference on “Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Opportunities.” The Conference will be attended by ministers and high-level representatives from Central and South Asian as well as other important countries, international organizations, international financial institutions, think-tanks and scholars.

In his interactions during the visit, the Prime Minister will highlight his vision of ‘Naya Pakistan’, Pakistan’s positive contribution to peace and security at the regional and international level, and the shift from geo-politics to geo-economics.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoy historic fraternal relations, marked by mutual respect and rooted in common culture and similar traditions. In recent years, Pakistan-Uzbekistan relations have witnessed an upward trajectory. The leaders of the two countries have interacted twice before on the sidelines of BRI Forum in Beijing and SCO Summit in Bishkek. They also held a Virtual bilateral Summit on April 14, 2021.

Pakistan has deepened its engagement with Central Asia through its ‘Vision Central Asia’ policy, with focus on five key strands - political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people exchanges.

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