Pakistan, Turkmenistan agree to bolster relations in diverse fields

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to further bolster their relations in different fields including economy, trade and education.

The understanding came at delegation level talks between the two countries in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Pakistani delegation was led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while the Turkmen side was led by its President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Later in a joint press conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said both the countries enjoy close cordial relations and these bonds are growing with the passage of time.

Referring to the TAPI gas pipeline project, the prime minister said this is a mega project which will help energy starved industry of Pakistan run at its full potential.

Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will also import one thousand megawatt of electricity from Turkmenistan and the MOU in this regard was signed during his visit to the country last year.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Turkmen President termed his talks with the prime minister as fruitful and productive saying these will further strengthen the brotherly relations.

The Turkmen President said the TAPI gas pipeline project will be implemented at the earliest. It will not only contribute to socio-economic development but also serve a bridge for building friendly relations amongst the regional countries.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan inked eight accords of cooperation, including seven Memoranda of Understanding on energy and financial intelligence and a Programme of Cooperation 2016-17.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow witnessed the signing ceremony in Islamabad.

In one-on-one meeting with the Turkmen President, the Prime Minister said Pakistan is committed to early completion of TAPI gas pipeline project.

He said Pakistan views TAPI not only as a gas pipeline project, but as a precursor to making it a trade and transit corridor as well.

The corridor can comprise gas pipeline, road, electricity transmission and fiber optic lines besides economic zones connecting Pakistan with Turkmenistan.

Nawaz Sharif suggested that Pakistan and Turkmenistan can be connected through railway corridor connecting Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

He said the bilateral trade needs to be increased and stressed for facilitating business visas and relaxing visa regime for the further promotion of economic relations.

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