Islamabad, October 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday emphasized the need for expeditious implementation of various joint mega projects, including the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, electricity transmission lines and rail and road projects, says a press release received here today from Baku.
During meeting of President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad here in Baku today, on the sidelines of the 12th ECO Summit, the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.
From Pakistan side, the meeting was attended among others by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign minister, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Mr. Inayat Ullah Kakar, Pakistan’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mr. Alamgir Babar, special secretary and other senior officials.
Discussing bilateral relations, the President noted with satisfaction the upward trajectory of the mutual relations and urged for creating viable linkages between the two countries in areas of trade and investment, energy and connectivity to bring the people of two countries further closer.
He said that greater interactions between the leadership and the people of the two countries would not only strengthen our historical, cultural and religious bonds but would also help to benefit from each others’ resources and expertise.
The President said that there exist huge potential of trade between the two countries and urged for effective steps which includes preferential tariff and free trade arrangements to reach the bilateral trade target of US $ 10 billion.
The agreement on export of wheat and rice to Iran was a test case for our barter trade and if successful it can be replicated in other areas, President Zardari said and stressed the need for removing tariff and non-tariff barriers and identifying alternative arrangements to further enhance the bilateral trade.
The two leaders also reviewed progress on the mega projects, including the Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline, the 1000 MW Taftan-Quetta power transmission line; the 100 MW Gwadar power supply project; construction of Noshki-Dalbandin section of Quetta-Taftan Highway and up-gradation of the Quetta-Taftan Railway Track and urged for early implementation of these projects.
Issues related to visa facilitation and opening of the new border posts at Mand-Pishin and Gabd-Rimdan to connect Karachi and Gawadar with Chah Bahar and Bandar Abbas through the Coastal Highway.
On situation in Syria, President Zardari said Pakistan was deeply concerned over the fast deteriorating situation in Syria as we believed that stability in this region was important for peace in the region and beyond.
He said Pakistan desired immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria and would continue advocating principles of non intervention and non interference in the internal affairs of states.
The President said that Pakistan strongly supports independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and that it would continue supporting any initiative which could provide political space to all the Syrian parties for bringing peace and stability in the country.
On situation in Afghanistan, the President reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance of supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
The President said that Control of trans-border movement of narcotic drugs and human trafficking among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran is a priority for our Government and stressed the need to further intensify cooperation at the bilateral and trilateral levels.
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