ISLAMABAD, Sep 16 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev met on the sidelines of Heads of Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Thursday and 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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the significance of enhancing structured political ties, fast-tracking trade and economic cooperation by operationalizing Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA), enhancing defence and security cooperation, and further increasing collaboration in the fields of education, culture and tourism. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of early finalization of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
Stressing the importance of multi-modal connectivity, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for the visionary Trans-Afghan Railway project and assured all possible support for its early realization. Once completed, this project would effectively link the Central Asian countries with the world through the seaports of Karachi and Gwadar.
Discussing the situation in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s efforts in support of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
He thanked President Mirziyoyev for Uzbekistan’s support to Pakistan’s initiative on engagement of Afghanistan’s immediate neighboring countries for a coordinated approach.
The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the international community’s positive engagement with Afghanistan to address the urgent humanitarian needs and stabilize the economic situation. Noting that a coordinated approach among Afghanistan’s neighbours was important, the two leaders agreed to remain in close consultations to take the process forward.
The Prime Minister reiterated his cordial invitation to President Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.