Pakistan keen to expand ties with Uzbekistan: PM Imran



ISLAMABAD:  Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham called on Prime Minister Imran Khan,. 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.

 The Prime Minister recalled his last meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and stated that Pakistan looked forward to his visit at the earliest convenience. The Prime Minister underlined Pakistan’s resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia, covering trade, investments, energy, and people-to-people contacts. The Prime Minister 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.

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. The Minister for Railways Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Advisor for Commerce Mr. 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.