Pakistan committed to Uzbekistan’s access to ports, trans-Afghan railway project: PM

Reaffirming the resolve to facilitate Uzbekistan’s access to Pakistani ports, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for forging closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investment, energy and people-to-people exchanges.

The Prime Minister said this while talking to Uzbek Foreign Minister Dr Abdulaziz Kamilov, who called on him on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister highlighted that Pakistan offers the shortest route to international seas to all Central Asian Republics through Karachi and Gwadar ports and could be the gateway to landlocked Central Asia.

He expressed appreciation for the proposed trans-Afghan railway project among Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. He underscored Pakistan’s commitment to support all efforts for the earliest realisation of this important connectivity project.

The Prime Minister emphasised that enhanced trade and regional connectivity between Pakistan and Uzbekistan are the cornerstones of economic growth and development.

Underlining the historic and civilisational links between the two countries, Imran Khan underlined that Pakistan highly values its close fraternal ties with Uzbekistan and wishes to deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas.

Prime Minister Khan fondly recalled his interactions with President Mirziyoyev in Beijing and Bishkek and reiterated his invitation to the Uzbek President to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support to the Afghan peace process, stressing the imperative of negotiated political solution. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the Afghan sides will seize this historic opportunity to work together constructively and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated political settlement.

In the context of South Asia, the Prime Minister underscored that durable peace and economic development in the region hinge upon peaceful resolution of long-standing unresolved disputes.

Uzbek Foreign Minister handed over a letter from President Mirziyoyev addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, inviting him to participate in a Central Asia-South Asia Connectivity Conference in Tashkent in July 2021.

The Prime Minister thanked for the invitation and mentioned that he is looking forward to visiting Uzbekistan.

Relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan are based on common faith, shared history and cultural affinities. These linkages provide a strong foundation for increased bilateral cooperation in myriad fields. Both countries have been closely collaborating at regional and international fora, especially at the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation , Economic Cooperation Organisation and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

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