Pakistan, Maldives agree to further enhance bilateral ties

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APP90-25 MALE: July 25 - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif delivering remarks at the Joint Press Stake-out with President of Maldives H.E. Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom at President's Office. APP

By Muhammad Ilyas Khan

MALE (Maldives), July 25 (APP): Pakistan and Maldives on
Tuesday agreed to further enhance their bilateral relations in
various fields, overcome common challenges and work jointly to
make SAARC a vibrant organization.
Speaking at a joint press conference here along with
President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Prime
Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said they exchanged views and
ideas to further expand and strengthen bilateral relations
in all areas of mutual interest, including trade,
education, tourism, defence and people-to-people contacts.
The prime minister is on a three-day official visit of
Maldives on the invitation of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul
Gayoom, and will be the chief guest at the 52nd Independence
Day celebrations of the country on July 26.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said they had a complete meeting
of minds on the need to overcome common challenges such as
climate change and terrorism.
He said they also agreed to work together to make the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
a vibrant organization and a vehicle to realize their shared
dreams for a peaceful and prosperous region.
The prime minister said the last Islamabad SAARC summit
was not the first time that India caused harm to the SAARC by
seeking postponement of the summit. It had done so on four
occasions, he added.
He said India undermined and violated the spirit of
SAARC Charter by casting shadows of bilateral issues and
problems on a multilateral forum for regional cooperation.
“We, however, remain grateful for President Abdualla
Yameen’s support regarding the SAARC summit in Islamabad,”
he added.
The prime minister said during the meeting, he also
highlighted the ongoing brutal repression and gross human
rights violations by the Indian occupation forces in the
Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif also briefed President
Abdulla Yameen on Pakistan’s efforts to fight the scourge
of terrorism.
“The brave people and armed forces of Pakistan have
been resolute in the face of terror and have rendered untold
sacrifices,” the prime minister said. “We have launched
successful operations against terrorists and have won
important victories.”
It was Pakistan’s contribution to the peace and
stability of the entire region, he added.
He said President Yameen shared with him his vision of
promoting cooperation and friendly relations between the
Maldives and other countries. Pakistan stood ready to support
his efforts, he added.
He said both the countries had signed a number of
memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for enhancing bilateral
cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade, education, capacity
building of civil servants and training for diplomats.
He said Pakistan-Maldives Joint Business Council and
Joint Working Group had been established, which would
serve as platforms for enhanced trade and investment cooperation
by facilitating collaboration between businesses and
institutions.
In order to sustain on the progress already achieved in
bilateral relations, the prime minister said both the
countries had constituted four joint working committees.
The committees would oversee the implementation of the
MoUs signed between the two counties, including those concluded
during President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to Pakistan in 2015,
he said and added that the MoUs related to sports, health,
education and combating illicit drugs.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he briefed President Abdulla
Yameen on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the
contribution that the truly historic initiative would make to
the region’s economic integration, connectivity and shared
prosperity.
He announced establishment of a medical college for the
people of Maldives. Pakistan would provide all resources for
it, he added.
Further, he said, from this year on, they would also
provide five additional slots for Maldivian students to study
medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dentistry in Pakistan.
Congratulating the people and leadership of Maldives on
their 52nd year of independence, the prime minister said it
was a matter of great happiness for him to share in the
celebrations.
It was a measure of the warmth and cordiality between
Pakistan and the Maldives that President Abdulla Yameen had
accorded to him the honour of being the chief guest on the
happy occasion, he said, adding that he was deeply touched
by this gesture of friendship.
Speaking on the occasion, President Abdulla
Yameen Abdul Gayoom said he had received the same feelings of
warmth, friendliness and mutual respect that he carried from
the people of Pakistan for the people of the Maldives during
his visit to Pakistan in 2015.
He said the bonds of goodwill and amity would endure
and continue to manifest themselves in ever-closer cooperation
between the two countries, not only bilaterally but at all the
relevant international fora as well.
He said Pakistan had made a tremendous contribution to
Maldives in the fields of education and thanked the prime
minister for setting up a medical college.
He said they also agreed to join their efforts for
eradication of terrorism and extremism.