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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday received Minister for Defence of Nigeria Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (retired) for a meeting and discussed issues of mutual interests, including enhancing cooperation in various areas such as trade and investment.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, Foreign Minister Qureshi while underscoring common history, shared values and perceptions as solid pillars of trust-based ties with Nigeria, expressed complete satisfaction at the positive trajectory of Pakistan-Nigeria relations, reinforced by presence of expatriate communities in each country and 50 percent increase in Pakistani exports to Nigeria last year.

He expressed satisfaction over bilateral collaboration in the security, aviation and counter-terrorism fields. Identifying new vistas for advancing bilateral relations, the foreign ministers agreed on promoting bilateral cooperation in the defence arena.

Highlighting Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” policy to expand diplomatic footprint and deepen trade and investment partnerships with Africa, Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed on the steps taken in this regard, including opening five new Embassies and relocating six Trade Sections in Africa and organising Trade Conferences in East and West African regions in Kenya (January 2020) and Nigeria (November 2021) respectively.

Welcoming the presence of Nigerian students in Pakistani universities, both sides concurred on realising further opportunities for Nigerian diplomatsand students in Pakistani institutions and continuing with the tradition of regular exchanges at multiple levels.

The foreign minister welcomed Nigeria’s participation in the forthcoming 48th OIC-CFM in Islamabad and expressed keenness to welcoming Muhammad Buhari, President of Republic of Nigeria for bilateral visit to Pakistan at the earliest convenience. The defence minister of Nigeria is on a three-day bilateral visit to Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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