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Joint Statement

At the invitation of His Excellency Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain paid his first State visit to Pakistan from 18 – 20 March, 2014.

2. His Majesty the King was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Heads of legislatures,Ministers, senior officials and business leaders. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome on 18 March, 2014 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Pakistan. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hosted official banquets in honour of His Majesty the King, which were preceded by official talks. His Majesty had bilateral meeting with His Excellency Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. His Majesty the King also received Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz; Finance Minister Mr. Ishaq Dar and Defence Minister Mr. Khawaja Muhammad Asif. The King also visited Joint Staff Headquarters.

3. His Majesty the King expressed appreciation for the role and contribution of the Pakistani expatriate community towards progress and economic development of Bahrain. The Pakistani leadership conveyed its deep appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting a large number of Pakistani citizens and expressed the hope that the Kingdom of Bahrain will continue to employ more Pakistanis in different sectors of their mainstream economy.

4. During the official meetings, the two sides underlined the close bilateral ties, deeply rooted in shared history and cultural affinities, sustained and nourished through growing economic linkages, multi-faceted cooperation and close people-to-people contacts. The wide-ranging discussions were held in a sincere, friendly and forward-looking atmosphere with useful exchange of views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

5. The two sides agreed to further broaden and deepen the bilateral engagement in diverse fields of mutual interest. There was agreement on further enhancing high-level political exchanges, cooperation in the fields of economic, trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people linkages.

6. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the status of the bilateral relations and expressed the hope that such exchanges would be further intensified with the aim to give impetus to the existing cordial ties.

7. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing regular consultations through the existing institutional mechanisms and welcomed the setting up of Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission.

8. The two sides emphasized the importance of Bilateral Consultations between the two Foreign Ministries which would serve as an umbrella framework for bilateral cooperation. The two sides decided that the next round would be held in the second half of 2014.

9. The two sides stressed the importance of increasing the defence and security cooperation between the two countries. It was agreed that the security dialogue will take place annually between the two countries at mutually agreed, appropriate level. It was also decided to strengthen sharing of information, intelligence and assessments. Both sides denounced terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen their cooperation in combating terrorism at both the bilateral level and within the multilateral system of the UN.

10. In the field of economic cooperation, the two sides noted with satisfaction the growth and progression of the bilateral trade relations. The Pakistani side welcomed the high-level business delegation accompanying His Majesty the King and recognized the importance of the organizing of the Pakistan – Bahrain Business Forum meeting which provided a good opportunity to realize the potential for further enhancement of trade and commercial exchanges. The two sides agreed to take necessary steps to provide an impetus to the bilateral trade turnover.

11. The two sides noted the potential for increased mutual investments and agreed to provide a favourable environment for investors from both countries. The two sides agreed for regular and timely exchange of information on available investment opportunities. Recognizing the enormous growth potential of Pakistan’s economy, the Bahraini side expressed its readiness to consider investments in Pakistan. The Pakistani side recognized Bahrain as an ideal gateway to the GCC markets.

12. The two sides welcomed the signing of the following Agreements/MoUs during the visit:

i) MoU on Establishment of Joint Ministerial Commission for Bilateral Cooperation
ii) Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments
iii) MoU on Cooperation between Ministries of Interior
iv) MoU on Cooperation in the fields of Water and Power
v) MoU on Cooperation in Food Security, in Particular Rice
vi) Air Services Agreement
vii) MoU in the areas of Labour and Occupational Training
viii) MoU between Economic Development Board of Bahrain and Board of Investment

13. The two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the security situation in West Asia and South Asia. Both sides also reiterated the importance of peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue, be they regional or international.

14. The two sides acknowledged the close relations between Pakistan and the GCC countries and reiterated their commitment to further strengthen cooperation, including the finalization of the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement.

15. His Majesty the King thanked Honourable President and the Honourable Prime Minister for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation. He extended his invitation to Honourable President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to visit Bahrain at a mutually convenient time, which was gladly accepted.

March 20, 2014

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