Pakistan, Uzbekistan sign MoUs on Trade & Defence

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ISLAMABAD: The first Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was held on Wednesday. During the wide-ranging talks, views were exchanged on bilateral, regional and international issues.

The two leaders reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations  with particular focus on political, trade, security and defence, educational and cultural domains.

They also agreed to encourage more people-to-people contacts including through spiritual (ziyarat) tourism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined the importance of enhancing political and diplomatic linkages, fast tracking trade and economic cooperation, ensuring early finalization of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Transit Trade Agreement (TTA), increasing security and defence cooperation, and taking steps to deepen mutual collaboration in the fields of education, culture and tourism.

The Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s economic security paradigm and the shifting focus to geo-economics. He stressed that Central Asia was a region of particular focus in this vision.

The level of progress on the Trans-Afghan Railway Line Project, agreed between Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan earlier this year, was reviewed.

The project would be a first step in linking the Central Asian transport network with Pakistani seaports of Gwadar, Karachi and Qasim.

Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that, once completed, the initiative would transform the geo-economic dynamics of the entire regime.

The two leaders also discussed important global and regional matters of mutual interest, and reaffirmed the commitment to continue supporting each other at all international and regional fora, including the UN, OIC, SCO and ECO.

MoUs for developing further cooperation in the field of agriculture, Conformity assessment of products, standardization, metrology and technical assistance, and defence cooperation were signed.

A Joint Declaration was adopted at the conclusion of the Summit.