Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari today said that Pakistan is keen to take Pak- Turkmenistan bilateral ties to greater heights and enter into a comprehensive partnership for peace and development with Turkmenistan as the two countries have immense economic complementarities. Turkmenistan has the capacity to meet Pakistan’s growing energy requirements whereas Pakistan can provide trade corridor to Turkmenistan, overland and through our seaports. , he remarked.
During one on one meeting with President of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov followed by delegation level talks, the President highlighted the existing cordial bilateral relations and called upon the need for the two countries to translate their close ties into economic partnership for the socio economic development of the people of the two countries.
Briefing the media about the meeting, spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that the President said that we need to carry forward the legacy of friendship laid by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and further strengthen our mutual cooperation most notably in the economic terms which at present does not commensurate with the existing potential between the two countries.
The President expressed satisfaction over the current progress on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and called for early realization of the Project. The Project, he said has the potential to spur growth and transform the region’s economic landscape.
The Spokesperson said that the President recalled that it was during the Pakistan People’s Party Government that the gas project was initially conceived and expressed pleasure to revive the project and see the project make headway.
He proposed that the two countries may enter into currency swap agreement, preferential tariff arrangements and a free trade agreement to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties. The President urged for establishing rail and air links between Pakistan and Turkmenistan to the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The spokesperson said that the President recalled his visit to Ashgabat last year and said that the challenge before the two sides was to give tangible shape to measures aimed at exploiting each other’s economic potentialities.
The President called upon business communities, trade facilitation bodies and chambers of commerce and industries of the two countries to establish and advance linkages so as to further enhance bilateral trade.
The President urged the need to encourage regular meetings of the recently activated joint Inter Governmental Commission and said that the commission should find ways to expedite finalization of pending agreements between the two countries.
The President said that it was satisfying to note that Turkmenistan was utilizing various training courses offered by Pakistan in various fields and wished to further broaden the scope of this cooperation.
Discussing regional situation, the President Zardari said that, Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location was an important regional player and has always worked for promoting regional stability and peace. He said that Pakistan has abiding interest in the peace and prosperous Afghanistan.
Pakistan has always called for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution and will continue to support all efforts to bring in peace and development in the neighbouring country, he said. Afghanistan’s security directly impacts the security of all of its immediate neighbours, including Pakistan, he added.
The Spokesperson said that President of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed his gratitude to the President for the warm welcome and invited him to pay an official visit to Turkmenistan. The President accepted the invitation to visit Turkmenistan. The dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
From Turkmenistan side those who were present during the delegation level meeting included among others Mr. Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the cabinet of ministers, Mr. Hojamuhammet Muhammedov, Mr. Bavmurat Hojamuhammet, Mr. Orazmurat Gurbannazarov, Mr. Deryageldi Orazov, Mr. Byar Abayev , Mr. Bayramgeldi Nedirov , Mr. Gulmurad Muradov , Mr. Berdiniyazov Sapar, Turkmen ambassador in Pakistan and other senior officials.
From Pakistan side, the President was assisted by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Senator Dr. Asim Hussain, Syed Naveed Qamar, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Mr. Salman Faruqui, Spokesperson Mr. Farhatullah Babar and Pakistan’s Ambassador in Turkmenistan Mr. Tassaduq Hussain.
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