ISLAMABAD, Dec 29 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday underlined Pakistan’s resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investments, energy, and people-to-people contacts.
He, particularly highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote regional connectivity for economic growth and development of the region.
In that regard, he said that Pakistani seaports provided a great opportunity to the Central Asian states for access to the Indian Ocean.
The prime minister was talking to Uzbek Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham, who called on him here.
During the meeting, matters relating to bilateral relations, regional connectivity, and peace and security in the region were discussed.
The prime minister underscored Pakistan’s fraternal ties with Uzbekistan based on common religious, historic and cultural bonds, and reaffirmed the commitment to further deepen bilateral cooperation in all spheres.
He recalled his last meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and stated that Pakistan looked forward to his visit at the earliest convenience.
The two sides agreed to pursue Trans-Afghan railway line project “Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar”.
The prime minister supported Uzbek efforts to secure financing for the project by signing the Joint Appeal Letter addressed to the heads of various international financial institutions (IFIs) by Heads of State/Government of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He stated that he had long underlined that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
The prime minister highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process and underscored that an inclusive and broad-based political solution would help establishment of durable peace and stability, and contribute to regional connectivity, progress and prosperity.
The Uzbek transport minister conveyed the cordial greetings and best wishes of the Uzbek president and noted that President Mirziyoyev was looking forward to visiting Pakistan.
On behalf of President Mirziyoyev, he also reiterated the invitation to the prime minister to visit Uzbekistan.
He also reaffirmed Uzbekistan’s desire to have deeper bilateral trade and economic ties as well as enhanced connectivity with Pakistan.
Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Advisor for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood were present during the meeting.
The Uzbek minister for transport is on a one-day visit to Islamabad to discuss in detail rail and road cooperation from Central Asia to Pakistani seaports.