Pakistan, Azerbaijan share similar perceptions through congenial ideals: PM

By Erfan Khan

BAKU, (Azerbaijan) Oct 14 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said Pakistan and Azerbaijan shared similar perceptions through congenial ideals which were vital for the regional integration and connectivity.

“We believe that all the regional and global issues must be
resolved through dialogue and peaceful means within the framework of international law,” he said in a joint press stakeout with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

Prime Minister Sharif said they remained advocates of
“peaceful neighbourhood’ and ‘ peace for development” in spite of naked aggression from others.

However, the courage to remain steadfast to the principles of peace must never be mistaken for weakness, he stressed.

The Prime Minister said the mutual support between Pakistan
and Azerbaijan on the Jammu and Kashmir Nagorno Karabakh testified to the close understanding and convergence of common views.

Reiterating Pakistan’s stance over Nagorno Karabakh, Prime
Minister Sharif called for complete return of occupied Azeri lands, withdrawal of Armenian forces and return of internally displaced  people and refugees.

The Prime Minister also appreciated Azerbaijan’s support for
Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute which called for its resolution through dialogue and peaceful means in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

The Prime Minister said the mutual support would remain firm between the two countries till final resolution of the outstanding issues.

The prospects of development and progress of both countries as well as the peace and security of the region remained hostage to these conflicts.

The Prime Minister said they also resolved to enhance and
diversity the already dynamic relations between the two countries.

“We noted with satisfaction that our political relations are
steadily growing,” he said, adding that both countries agreed to further strengthen these relations in diverse fields.

Prime Minister Sharif observed that their bilateral trade
currently did not commensurate with actual potential and needed to be revitalized.

He also lauded the socio economic development and progress of Azerbaijan under the dynamic leadership of Aliyev.

Expressing gratitude to the warm and generous hospitality
extended to him and his delegation, the Prime Minister said his visit to Baku gave an opportunity to reflect upon
common goals of progress, prosperity, development, connectivity and intergration of the entire region.

Referring to his first ever visit to Baku, he said it
had a semblance of home for all Pakistanis and cited the historic building of Multan Serai in the very heart of the city, which bore testimony for the long historic ties.

He said being bearers of such traditions, the leadership
of the two countries agreed to effectively channelise their energies in increasing connectivity leading to greater regional integration.

Speaking on the occasion, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev
said Pakistan was a close friend of Azerbaijan as it had supported his country on Nagorno Karabakh issue.

He said they supported Pakistan’s stance over Jammu and
Kashmir dispute and the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions which unfortunately remained unfulfilled.

He said such stance by the leadership of the two countries also united them and the people of Azerbaijan were grateful to Prime Minister Sharif who during his past tenure had supported them on Nagorno Karabakh issue.

President Aliyev said during today’s meetings, they also
agreed to further boost their economic and investement ties,
especially export sector through a mechanism.

Pakistan had rich experience in the pharmaceutical sector and Azerbaijan would like to explore cooperation in that regard.

He said they were keen for joint military training, besides
cooperation in the defence production field. The President hoped that electornic visa system would be activated to facilitate tourism between the two countries.

He said Azerbaijan was sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and could link them through transportation facilities.