Pak-Uzbek leaders say trans-Afghan railway vital for connectivity

By Staff Reporter
Saturday – June 19, 2021
ANTALYA (Turkey): Recognising the need to pursue greater regional connectivity, the foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi along-with Uzbek FM Abdulaziz Kamilov, on Friday, discussed the importance of the landmark trans-Afghan railway initiative from Uzbekistan to Pakistan.

According to press releases, the two leaders held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Antalya diplomacy forum in a southern Turkish port city.

FM Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s “vision central Asia” policy, and its commitment to enhance engagement with central Asian countries to build a result-oriented, sustainable and long-term partnership.

He held that peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential to reap the dividends of Pakistan’s emphasis on geo-economics.

FM Qureshi briefed on Pakistan’s vital contributions to the Afghan peace process and stressed that the conflict could only be settled through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process.

Both sides agreed that all Afghan parties needed to seize the historic opportunity presented by the current peace process.

The two leaders held fruitful discussions and exchanged views on various bilateral issues of mutual interest including the increased high-level engagements between both sides.

The virtual summit between prime minister (PM) Imran Khan and Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev held on April 14, 2021, was also appreciated as it provided an excellent opportunity to review bilateral ties.

Separately, the FM held a bilateral meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Ruslan Kazakbaev, on Friday, on the sidelines of Antalya diplomacy forum.

FM Qureshi spoke highly of the historical relations between the two countries and their deep cultural linkages.

The two sides reviewed bilateral ties in diverse areas including political, economic, commercial, defence and security.

Issues related to the welfare of Pakistani students and expatriate community were also discussed.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at their ongoing collaboration at various regional and international fora.

FM Qureshi elaborated Pakistan’s efforts for enhanced engagement with central Asian countries to build a result-oriented, sustainable and long-term partnership through its vision central Asia policy.

He highlighted the aspect of regional connectivity and integration as its important components and underlined shortest access to the sea for central Asian states through Gwadar and Karachi ports.

The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact to further strengthen joint efforts for enhanced cooperation in all spheres of common interest.