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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to early implementation of the “Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Railways” project to give a “boost” to bilateral and regional trade and become a bridge between South and Central Asia.

This was agreed in a meeting between Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and his Uzbek counterpart Bakhtiyor Saidov on Wednesday who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, the duo held comprehensive talks during the meeting.

“The two sides underscored the cultural, civilizational and historical ties between Pakistan and Uzbekistan which provide a solid foundation for robust partnership in multiple domains. They also expressed satisfaction at close security and defence cooperation and robust engagement at multilateral fora such as UN, SCO and OIC,” the statement read.

It further stated that the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to early implementation of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Railways project, which would give boost to bilateral and regional trade and become a bridge between South and Central Asia.

It added that the two sides discussed at length economic cooperation, trade, investment and connectivity between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

They noted that following operationalisation of Transit Trade Agreement, bilateral trade has increased 1.4 times during the previous year and has the potential to reach the targets set during the last Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) held in Tashkent in February 2023.

“They agreed to identify new areas of economic cooperation and emphasized the importance of a liberal visa regime especially for the business community to promote linkages and people-to-people contacts,” it added.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Saidov arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to Pakistan.

He was accorded a warm welcome on arrival.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Tariq Qurashi May 09, 2024 09:55am
This project is an excellent initiative because it will open up and connect the whole Central Asian hinterland to Pakistan and Karachi port. Other ports are thousands of miles distant through Russia.
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