Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday met Iranian President Syed Ebrahim Raisi wherein both the countries agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation being held in Samarkand, both sides affirmed the desire to strengthen cooperation in economic, trade, connectivity, energy, culture and people-to-people links.
The two leaders exchanged views on the entire range of bilateral relations.
Both the leaders positively evaluated the outcome of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission and agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
The prime minister underscored the need for closer bilateral engagement for boosting economic and energy cooperation, operationalising barter trade, opening border sustenance markets, and facilitating Pakistani Zaireen.
It was agreed that Pakistan would be sending a delegation to discuss measures for expanded cooperation in bilateral trade and energy sectors.
PM Shehbaz extended his gratitude to President Raisi and to the people of Iran for their solidarity and support with the Pakistani nation during the massive floods in the country.
He highlighted the devastating impact of the floods caused by climate change and underscored that Pakistan, with the least carbon emissions, was bearing the cost of something for which it was not responsible.
He stressed the importance of tangible international action to help address the challenges that climatically vulnerable countries like Pakistan were facing.
The prime minister reiterated his invitation to President Raisi to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience. The president renewed his invitation to the premier to visit Iran.
PM vows boosting Pak-Uzbek business ties
In meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the SCO sidelines, PM Shehbaz underscored the significance of enhancing bilateral political ties, and fast-tracking trade and economic cooperation by fully operationalising the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
The two leaders exchanged views on Pakistan-Uzbekistan relations and regional and international issues.
The wide-ranging talks covered bilateral cooperation, with a special focus on trade and economic relations, and regional connectivity through rail, road and seaports.
The prime minister thanked President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for expressing condolences and sympathies by sending humanitarian aid for the flood-affected people.
Premier Shehbaz underlined the need for closer defence and security cooperation, and further increasing collaboration in the fields of education, culture and tourism.
He emphasised that liberalised visa regime would encourage the business communities of both countries to boost bilateral trade and investment.
The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the timely completion of Trans-Afghan Railway project and expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of field expedition inside Afghanistan by the technical teams from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Once completed, the project would effectively link the Central Asian countries with the world through the seaports of Karachi and Gwadar, he added.
The two leaders agreed to early convening of the Inter-Governmental Commission to formulate specific proposals and projects to further deepen and broaden Pakistan-Uzbekistan cooperation across the entire spectrum.
The prime minister extended an invitation to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan. The Uzbek president also invited the prime minister to visit Uzbekistan at an early date.
Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz also had a bilateral meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on the sidelines of the SCO in which both the leaders comprehensively reviewed the bilateral relationship and discussed regional and international issues.
The prime minister highlighted the massive human and material losses caused by the unprecedented floods in Pakistan and thanked President Lukashenko for his sympathies and condolences over the devastation caused.
The two sides also agreed to hold the next session of the Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission (JEC) at the earliest, which could prove instrumental in enhancing bilateral trade and mutual cooperation in diverse areas.