ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan has underlined Pakistan’s resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investments, energy, and people-to-people contacts.
In a meeting with Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham who held a meeting with him in Islamabad on Monday and discussed matters relating to bilateral relations, regional connectivity, and peace and security in the region, 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.
The prime minister recalled his last meeting with the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and said that Pakistan looked forward to his visit at the earliest convenience.
Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham called on Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI, today. During the meeting, matters relating to bilateral relations, regional connectivity, and peace and security in the region were discussed. pic.twitter.com/TXDXHrf4nt
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 29, 2020
Imran Khan particularly highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote regional connectivity for economic growth and development of the region.
In this regard, the Prime Minister said that Pakistani seaports provided a great opportunity to Central Asian States for access to the Indian Ocean.
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 Joint Appeal Letter addressed to the Heads of various International Financial Institutions (IFIs) by Heads of State/Government of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Imran Khan said that he had long underlined that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He also highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process and underscored that an inclusive and broad-based political solution would help the 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 Shavkat Mirziyoyev was looking forward to visiting Pakistan.
On behalf of the Uzbek President Shavkat 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.
The Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and the Prime Minister’s 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.