PM departs for two-day official visit to Azerbaijan


ISLAMABAD, JUN 14 (DNA) — Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday departed here for a two-day official visit to Azerbaijan, at the invitation of President Ilham Aliyev.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, State Minister for Petroleum Dr Musaddiq Malik, and Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi are part of the prime minister’s entourage.

During the visit, the prime minister will meet the Azerbaijan president. A ministerial delegation of Azerbaijan will also meet the prime minister to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and energy.

Prior to departure, the prime minister wrote on Twitter that his “visit is part of our government’s policy to strengthen bilateral cooperation and build win-win partnerships.” He said other than expediting early finalisation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), he would hold important talks with Azerbaijani leadership to open up avenues of cooperation in energy, banking, financial services and IT sectors.

“Translating excellent bilateral political ties into a solid relationship of trade and investment remains a fundamental goal for us. Central Asia is central to our energy security policy and we are committed to stepping up the cooperation with CARs to make Pakistan energy-secure,” the prime minister tweeted.

The prime minister said Russia was sending 100,000 tonnes of crude oil to Pakistan. In this regard, the first ship of Russian oil had arrived in Karachi. The premier said they did not order even a single item from Russia.

“People ask what is special about Russian oil. The price of Russian oil is lower than the world oil price. Russian oil is cheaper by at least 15 dollars per barrel than the world market,” said Mr Sharif. He said Pakistan needed foreign exchange at present. — DNA