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November 2, 2018
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Pakistan, Uzbekistan believe in non-military solution to Afghan issue, says Qureshi

National

November 2, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday said Pakistan and Uzbekistan both shared similar views on Afghanistan and believed that there’s no military solution to the imbroglio.

Addressing a joint press conference with the Uzbek Foreign Minister AbdulazizKamilov at the Foreign Office here, he said he was glad to hear from Mr. Kamilov that their views about Afghanistan were almost alike.

“Both countries feel that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. We are prepared to facilitate and support the dialogue process”, he said.

The two leaders announced that they had together broken the pause in their relations, opening a new page in their bilateral relations.

AbdulazizKamilov is currently visiting Pakistan along with a high-level delegation here.

Head of Uzbek National Security Services was also present.

The Uzbek foreign minister was accompanied by IkhtiyorAbullayev, Chairman of the State Security Service; and IsmatullaIrgashev, Special Representative of President of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan along with other representatives of Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Security Service of Uzbekistan.

In order to give further impetus to bilateral relations, it was agreed to hold the inaugural session of Bilateral Political Consultation and 6th session of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tashkent at the earliest possible.

Regional security, including Afghanistan, was high on the agenda during talks with AbdulazizKamilov.

“We think Pakistan is a regional power, which can play central role in guaranteeing regional peace and stability. Both countries share this common interest and we will continue to cooperate for this cause. We can shape a comprehensive/roadmap agenda for bilateral cooperation, which may encompass all possible areas of cooperation,” AbdulazizKamilov said.

AbdulazizKamilov brought with him a letter from the Uzbek president for Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Regional security together with Afghanistan was discussed where the Uzbek foreign minister proposed ground-breaking initiatives like railroad between Uzbekistan and Pakistan passing through Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, it was agreed, was a prerequisite for stability and development of the entire region. Both sides expressed readiness to facilitate and support Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.

“The project will add to Pakistan’s potential as the regional transit hub, enhance connectivity with Central Asia and beyond and aid in regional development and prosperity”, said AbdulazizKamilov.

He added that the focus in talks was on regional security especially peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“In this case, we have common approach. Regional support is very important because it is in the interest of both the countries.

We discussed cooperation between the two countries in facing various challenges and threats. I had in my delegation the Head of National Security Services, which is evident of the fact that we give importance to cooperation between the two countries in the realm of security,” the top Uzbek diplomat said.

Qureshi said both countries had same objectives for achieving peace and stability in the region.

“I was glad to hear from my brother Mr. Kamilov that our views about Afghanistan are almost alike. Both countries feel that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. We are prepared to facilitate and support the dialogue process”, he said.

The Foreign Office says that the visit reinvigorated meaningful deliberations in all areas of bilateral cooperation including political,

security & defence cooperation, peace process in Afghanistan as well as trade and investment promotion.

Areas of mutual interest for future collaboration were also identified, including agriculture, tourism and cultural cooperation.

Qureshi added that the rail-road corridor, which will enhance connectivity in the region, had been elaborately discussed.

“We also talked about the international and regional support for the subject corridor. In my view, there are great opportunities to promote bilateral trade between the two countries”, he added.

We would continue to cooperate in trade sector. We also discussed the various development projects like transport, communication etc. in the region.

AbdulazizKamilov pointed to strengthening cooperation in the areas of tourism, people to people exchanges and cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries.

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