Islamabad: Maldives Foreign Minister Mr. Ahmed Naseem called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and thanked the Government of Pakistan for extending all out assistance in holding the forthcoming SAARC Summit in the Maldives next month.
The Prime Minister said that it was heartening to mention that relations among SAARC countries were improving and by espousing the theme of “connectivity”, the people of the region will come closer leading to improvement in their relations on sustainable basis.
The Prime Minister recalled his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at Mohali, which was followed by Ministerial and Secretary level exchange of visits between the two countries focused to improve multifaceted cooperation especially enhancing trade and people to people contact.
The Prime Minister said that excellent relations among the member countries were reflection of the aspirations of the people who shared centuries old history, culture and traditions.
The Prime Minister also recalled his meeting with the Maldives young and dynamic President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed at Thimphu (Bhutan) during the last SAARC Summit.
The Prime Minister urged upon the importance of ‘connectivity’ through air, land and sea, necessary to promote regional transit-trade besides building bridges among the people of member states.
The Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to meet the Maldives President at the SAARC Summit and asked the Foreign Minister to convey his best wishes to the President. The Foreign Minister also handed over a personal letter of the Maldives President to the Prime Minister of Pakistan in which the President expressed his deep sense of gratitude for extending generous support to his country in connection with the holding of the SAARC Summit.
The Foreign Minister said during the Summit his country would welcome a meeting of the Indian Prime Minister with Pakistan’s Prime Minister on the sidelines. The Foreign Minister also gave some tangible suggestions to improve trade between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister said that Ferry links between the two countries can increase trade substantially because Maldives imports a huge quantity of fruits and vegetables. The import of the same from Pakistan will be far less expensive through sea link.
Maldives can export fish to Pakistan. Similarly, Maldives import poultry products from Brazil and the same can be imported from Pakistan if there were sea and air links between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister of Maldives appreciated the initiatives of Pakistan and India to improve their relations. Its criticality to realize the full potential of the SAARC forum needs no further explanation, he said.
The Foreign Minister also disclosed that his country was holding Convention on Shaiah jurisprudence and inter-faith harmony. The Prime Minister said that the Saudi King has been actively engaged to promote inter-faith harmony at global level. The Foreign Minister said that the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz had accepted the invitation to participate in the Convention.
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