ISLAMABAD, Mar 4 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday expressed Pakistan’s keenness to further strengthen bilateral relations with Uzbekistan in diverse areas including trade, energy, agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure and transportation.
He said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed close, friendly and fraternal relations based on shared faith, culture and heritage, he added.

The President was talking to Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furkat Sidikov, who called on him here.

He expressed the desire to further strengthen the existing excellent bilateral relations to the mutual benefit of the peoples of two brotherly countries and underscored that they have to make efforts to enhance cooperation in the economic and commercial fields.

The President said that there has been an appreciable increase in their bilateral trade from previous years but they should jointly strive to increase its volume in the years ahead.

He stated that Uzbekistan’s impressive annual economic growth and rich energy resources and Pakistan’s large industrial and agricultural base provided sufficient complementarities for expanding commercial relations.

The President underlined that there was an immense potential of religious and cultural tourism between the two countries. This potential could be exploited by giving visa facilitation to citizens of the two countries, he added.

He pointed out that Pakistan in the next five years would focus on greater rail and road connectivity, building oil and gas pipelines and electricity transmission networks with its regional neighbors, including Uzbekistan.

The President highlighted that Gwadar Seaport with Pakistan’s national road and railway networks would offer shortest route available to Uzbekistan in the region to a seaport.

He appreciated Uzbekistan’s proposal of a railway link between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and welcomed its lead to host the 1st Expert Meeting in December 2018.

The President also welcomed Uzbek initiatives for regional peace and security, especially for the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

He further said that Pakistan fully supports and encourages the peace talks between all stakeholders for a durable peace in Afghanistan, adding enduring peace and stability in  Afghanistan was in Pakistan`s interest.

The President also appreciated Uzbekistan’s support for Pakistan’s successful election to the UN Human Rights Council.

Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furkat Sidikov commended the efforts of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and stated that Uzbekistan supports Pakistan’s point of view on Afghanistan issue.

He further said that there was a tremendous potential to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries and he would make all possible efforts in that regard.