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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari held bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Norov Vladimir Imamovich of Uzbekistan today, on the sidelines of SCO-CFM being held at Tashkent.

The two sides exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including political, trade, economic, security, defence, and connectivity.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral contacts in the last few years and stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum through consolidating the strategic partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. He underscored the urgent need to operationalize Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement for boosting trade and transit between the two countries.

The Foreign Minister underlined the importance of direct air connectivity to enhance business and people-to-people links. He also appreciated progress on joint media production on the common heritage and life of Mughal Emperor Zaheer-ud-din Babur.

The Foreign Minister re-affirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to timely completion of Trans-Afghan railway project and expressed pleasure at commencement of joint field expedition in Afghanistan in this context. He urged the need to fully utilize the potential of Pakistan’s seaports of Gwadar and Karachi by advancing the connectivity agenda.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction on the existing cooperation at regional and international fora, particularly at the UN, OIC, ECO and SCO. Uzbekistan is currently the chairman of ECO and SCO for the year 2022.

Speaking on regional and international issues, the Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s continued support for sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan and its benefits for the region and beyond.

29 July 2022

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