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(2017-02-05) Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, ShaikhKhalid Bin Ahmed Mohammed Al Khalifa, arrived today in Pakistan along with a high level delegation, to co-chair the inaugural session of Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission with Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs. Soon after his arrival, both sides held a meeting to review the dynamism and scope of existing relations beween the two countries. The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs SyedTariq Fatemi as well as Secretaries of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Overseas Pakistani besides other senior officials from both sides.

Appreciating the consistent development of bilateral relations in all areas of mutual cooperation, both Ministers welcomed the up-gradation of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) to the level of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC). Mr. Sartaj Aziz highlighted that the Ministerial Commission will serve as a regular platform to discuss cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

During the meeting, both Ministers exchanged views on possibilities of improving bilateral economic cooperation while highlighting that regular business-to-business interactions were the key in this regard. The Adviser expressed gratitude to His Majesty King of Bahrain for facilitating the convening of the first Pakistan-Bahrain Business Opportunity Conference in Manama, in September 2016. The 2nd session of the conference, being held in Pakistan in March 2017, will further boost commercial linkages between the countries. The Adviser also thanked the King of Bahrain for the generous gift of Nursing Training University to Pakistan which has become an icon of Pakistan-Bahrain friendship. The project was jointly inaugurated in Islamabad last month by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Commander National Guards of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Underscoring the substantial potential on both sides, the Adviser stated that the warm political relations between Pakistan and Bahrain were the foundation to strengthen cooperation in economic and trade sector. He informed that the current investment policy of Pakistan had created an investment friendly environment, guaranteeing equal treatment of foreign and domestic investors. Mr. SartajAziz invited Bahraini businessmen to invest in Pakistan, especially in the energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors, urging them to take advantage of the lucrative incentives on the offer for foreign investors.

While briefing the Bahraini side on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC), the Adviser informed that CPEC, including its Gawadar Port project,has emerged as a remarkable means to enhance the economic depth of regional countries. He assured that Pakistan remained ready to connect various surrounding regions for a win-win outcome for all.

The Adviser also briefed the Bahraini side on Pakistan’s achievements in decisively subduing the menace of terrorism through its successful Zarb-e-Azab military operation. He informed that stability achieved by Pakistan would immensely contribute in crystallizing an environment of peace, prosperity and economic development in the region.

Reciprocating the sentiments of the Adviser, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Mohammed Al Khalifa reiterated that Pakistan-Bahrain relations reflected a consistently strong bond of friendship which was devoid of any irritant or divergence of interests on important issues. Bahrain highly appreciated and expressed great satisfaction over the notable success Pakistan had achieved in defeating the scourge of terrorism which has contributed to regional peace and stability. The Bahraini Foreign Minister also expressed his satisfaction over the strength contributed to the bilateral relationship through close cooperation in defence and security areas.

The Foreign Minister added that Bahrain remains eager to strengthen the already strong Pakistan-GCC relation even further. He added that Bahrain, currently holding the chair of GCC, will make serious efforts to reinforce this important relationship, for the benefit of all sides in the region.

The inaugural session of JMC will be held on 06 February 2017 including Plenary and technical sessions for thread base review of the bilateral cooperation in various sector.

05 February 2017

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