Bishkek—With focus on enhanced cooperation in energy sector and regional connectivity, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan on Thursday agreed to further improve and strengthen their bilateral relations in diverse areas including trade, economy, people-to-people contacts and tourism.
“Our political relations are excellent. We have agreed to further improve our economic relations, people-to-people contacts, tourism and energy,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told a joint press conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart Temir Sariyev here after holding one-on-one and delegation level talks.
The two sides also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to further strengthen relations in different fields.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan relations continue to improve steadily. He said the relations were based on mutual respect, common faith and shared interests, adding, the relations were marked by cordiality and commonality of views on major regional and international issues.
“We held wide-ranging consultations on issues relating to common challenges we face today and the opportunities available,” the Prime Minister said.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan had a vision of establishing energy and trade corridors with the countries in Central Asia, as it provides the shortest route to sea for CARs.
He said Pakistan was eager to see prosperous Central Asia with all countries connected by rail, road and air links and generating business.
He said the two countries have shared interests on a broad range of issues, including peace and stability, countering terrorism, narcotics drugs and extremism, trade and economic cooperation, and regional integration. The Prime Minister said Pakistan wished to further deepen and broaden relations with the Kyrgyz Republic in all areas of cooperation.
“During our talks today, the Kyrgyz Prime Minister and I reviewed all important aspects of our bilateral relations. We focused on the need for regular political exchanges between Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, including high-level visits,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the two sides discussed ways of realizing full potential of our rich human and material resources, through expanding trade, increasing investments, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links, and enhancing energy collaboration.
He said the both sides stressed the need for fast-tracking progress on energy projects. “It is highly satisfactory that all important agreements regarding CASA-1000 Project have been concluded,” he added.
The Prime Minister said as Pakistan’s economic growth was heavily dependent on electricity CASA-1000 could help in mitigating Pakistan’s energy deficit. “We should collectively work for implementation of this project at the earliest”, he added.
He said Pakistan wished to develop elaborate network of communication linkages. “We have taken the initiative to develop Gwadar Port and Pak-China Economic Corridor. This will facilitate regional connectivity and enable Central Asian States to use our ports. Similarly, we will have access to this region”, he added.
The Prime Minister said today’s meeting also allowed the two sides to discuss cooperation between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan at the multilateral forums, especially at the UN, G-77, NAM and ECO.
“We look forward to work in close cooperation with Kyrgyzstan for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council that takes into account aspirations of all Member States. Instead of creating more centres of privilege, the reform should pay particular attention to the interests of smaller States and make the Security Council more democratic’, he added.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan looked forward to becoming a member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and would appreciate the support of Kyrgyzstan to our request.
He said the signing of MoUs between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan today would help in further strengthening of relations between the two countries.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan would continue to provide training courses to Kyrgyz nationals. “More than 60 young and mid-career diplomats have been provided training at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad. Courses are also being offered for training in the banking, postal and other sectors”, he added.
He was confident that shared values and commitment to enhanced regional cooperation will ensure even closer fraternal relations between Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
“I have brought with me greetings of the people of Pakistan for their Kyrgyz brothers and sisters”, he remarked.
In his remarks, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev said Pakistan is enriched with natural reserves besides having seaports. He said the two countries could cooperate in anti-terror efforts.
“We are ready to cooperate with Pakistan to meet its energy needs and CASA-1000 project in this respect is important,” he remarked. He said Kyrgyzstan desires to be part of trade and economic corridor, as it will help promote regional trade.
He said the two sides also agreed to cooperate in disaster management, adding that Kyrgyzstan wants to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan in all areas.
Earlier, during the one-on-one and delegation level talks, the two leaders agreed on the need to further strengthen the alreadyexisting close relations between the two countries not only in political arena, but also to translate the same into strong trade and economic partnership for mutual benefit.
The two sides noted that the relations between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan continue to move from strength to strength. It was, however, stressed that the two countries should ensure that the special ties are transformed into a strategic partnership encompassing all areas of bilateral relations.
“Our political relations are excellent, and defence cooperation is strong and growing. But the trade and economic cooperation must be improved”, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said.
The two sides were unanimous in the view that the existing cordiality and goodwill must translate into a robust economic partnership that contributes to the two brotherly countries prosperity.
During the talks it was noted with satisfaction that all necessary agreements regarding CASA-1000 project have been concluded and signed and hoped the construction work will start soon.
On the occasion, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan also signed two MoUs for cooperation in the prevention of natural disasters and fighting against illegal drug trafficking.
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir and Minister for Defense Khawaja Asif represented Pakistan in the agreement signing whereas Minister for National Emergencies and Minister for Drug Control Service represented Kyrgyz side.
The two Prime Ministers witnessed the agreement signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, Speaking at the banquet hosted in his honour by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariev, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was endeavouring to strengthen its bonds with Kyrgyzstan and get closer to each other.
“I am really touched by the hospitality you gave us and look forward to reciprocating it when you come to our country,” the Prime Minister remarked.
The Prime Minister also wished good health for the Kyrgyz Prime Minister and prayers for the peace and prosperity of Kyrgyzstan and its people.—APP