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May 8, 2015

Pakistan wants relations with Maldives based on shared interests: PM

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May 8, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said Pakistan enjoyed excellent relations with the Maldives based on mutual respect and common faith and wanted to deepen and broaden these relations on the basis of shared interests.
“Our relations are marked by cordiality and commonality of views on major regional and global issues. We wish to further deepen and broaden relations with the Maldives in all fields of importance,” said the prime minister while talking to the President of Maldives Abdulla Yaameen Abdul Gayoom at the PM House here.
Abdullah Yaameen Abdul Gayoom was warmly received by the prime minister on arrival at the PM House.He was given guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces. The national anthems of the two countries were also played on this occasion.
Nawaz said Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with Maldives. He said both Pakistan and Maldives must continue to closely coordinate their positions on the platform of Saarc with an aim to make it a model of regional cooperation, based on the principles of sovereign equality.
He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and Maldives was below the true potential, needing an enhancement.Gayoom said the parliament of Maldives —’The People’s Majlis’ — was a living monument of friendship between the people of Pakistan and Maldives.
“Pakistan built the parliament building as a gift to Maldives,” he added.Nawaz Sharif fondly recalled his visit to Maldives in 1996 for the inauguration of the parliament building.The two countries also signed four MoUs on cooperation of Combating Illicit Trafficking and Abuse of Narcotics Drugs; Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors; on Bilateral Cooperation in the field of Sports, and Health, and on the field of Education.
A one-on-one meeting between the president and prime minister was followed by delegation level meeting during which a whole range of matters of mutual interest

and bilateral cooperation came under discussion including tourism, trade, investment, counter-terrorism, human resource training, defense as well as regional situation.
A joint statement said the PM welcomed President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and his delegation and said his recent visit was a testimony to the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.
“We focused on the need for regular political exchanges between Pakistan and Maldives, including high level visits. We agreed on the importance of trade, tourism and people-to-people contact,” he maintained. He also informed the president that Pakistan was focused on growth and development to ensure prosperity to our people.
“To this end, we want peaceful relations with all our neighbours,” Nawaz added.Nawaz said their meeting also allowed discussion on cooperation between Pakistan and Maldives at the multilateral forums, especially the Saarc.
He said Pakistan will continue to provide training courses to Maldivian diplomats at the Foreign Services Academy.“Pakistan regularly offers seats in professional colleges and universities for Maldivian students. Courses are also offered for training in the banking and other sectors. All this will continue,” he added.
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom thanked the PM and brotherly people of Pakistan, for the very warm welcome and generous hospitality.He recalled with thanks the help extended by Pakistan when Maldives was hit by a tsunami. He urged that bilateral relations have been strengthened in many fields ranging from infrastructure, defence, and human resource development.
He further said that during his meeting with President Mamnoon Hussain he discussed avenues to enhance the existing ties of friendship and cooperation between our neighborly Islamic countries.
He said he was very confident that our shared values and commitment to enhanced regional cooperation will ensure even closer fraternal relations between Pakistan and the Maldives.He also invited Prime Minister Sharif to visit the Maldives on the 50th Independence Day this year.

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