TASHKENT: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday agreed to strengthen their ties by enhancing bilateral trade and improving connectivity in the region, what the two sides believed could guarantee regional development.
Addressing a joint press stakeout after signing of bilateral agreements, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Uzbek President Islam Karimov expressed satisfaction over the bilateral ties; however stressed for harnessing the full potential of the bilateral cooperation in various spheres.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a two-day official visit to Uzbek Republic along with a high level delegation, thanked the Uzbek Government and people for hospitality shown to him and his delegation.
He said both the countries were bound with the affinities of culture, faith and customs and stressed to sustain these ties effectively through bolstering the cooperation.
The Prime Minister said during the meeting with Uzbek President Karimov and delegations, both the sides agreed to play a coordinated role to counter terrorism and improve regional connectivity.
Nawaz Sharif said his government was keen to strengthen ties with Uzbekistan adding that the projects like China Pakistan Economic Corridor and other connectivity projects would ensure regional development and prosperity.
He said once the project of rail link between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was executed, it would have a greater positive impact on the trade activities of both the countries.
The Prime Minister said both Pakistan and Uzbekistan share the view that peace and stability in the region was essential for better economic activity.
The two sides were unanimous to believe that the regional challenges could only be tackled through coordinated and concerted efforts, he added.
Nawaz Sharif said the documents signed between the two countries would help a great deal to strengthen the bilateral cooperation and bring the two brotherly countries more closer.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also thanked Uzbek Republic for extending support to Pakistan to achieve the membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
He said Pakistan’s ports offer the shortest land route to Uzbekistan for access to the Arabian Sea and unique geographical locations of Pakistan and Uzbekistan were mutually advantageous for the two countries.
Nawaz Sharif said he was pleased to visit Uzbekistan with whom Pakistan enjoyed close ties and expressed gratitude for a warm reception and overwhelming hospitality extended.
President Karimov, in his statement, said the bilateral meeting and the documents signed would open up new avenues for cooperation between the two brotherly states.
He said that Pakistan enjoyed an important status in Asia as well as Muslim world for its geographical and geo-political position.
Referring to the commonalities of culture, faith and traditions, the President, however, said the economic cooperation between the two countries did not meet the existing potential and stressed that it needed to be enhanced.
He said the Pak-Uzbek ties, which were founded some 23 years ago when Nawaz Sharif visited here in 1992, were heading towards a positive trajectory.
Karimov lauded the Prime Minister’s economic policies and his initiatives to enhance regional connectivity by extending communication infrastructure.
He also welcomed the peace process in Afghanistan and said Uzbekistan also believed that regional stability was linked with peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Uzbek President said the parliamentary exchanges between the two countries were essential to bring the two peoples closer.