Pakistan

Sharif, Turkmen president discuss regional connectivity projects

ISLAMABAD/MURREE: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on Thursday discussed the regional connectivity projects during their meeting in Murree, ARY News reported.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Shahid Ashraf Tarar briefed both the leaders on regional connectivity projects.

The two leaders were also briefed on proposed road projects to connect Central Asian Republics with Pakistan under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation.

On the occasion, PM Sharif said that infrastructural development of Pakistan is the economic lifeline of the country.

He said the completion of regional connectivity projects along with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will turn around the economic outlook of the country and will prove to be a game changer for the entire region.

The Turkmen president appreciated the infrastructural development vision of the Prime Minister and expressed interest in the proposed routes which fall along the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

President Berdimuhamedov also showed interest in investing in Gwadar in different areas including storage facilities.

The two sides also agreed to take measures for early completion of important regional energy project of TAPI, according to a joint communiqué issued to media. They agreed to take appropriate measures to enhance bilateral trade.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Berduhamedov have arrived at Government House Murree.The PM and the President of Turkmenistan will be given briefing on regional connectivity projects by Minister for Planning and Development Mr. Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman NHA.

Posted by Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday, March 17, 2016

Below is full text of the joint communiqué issued after two-day visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Pakistan:

Joint Communiqué
of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and the President of Turkmenistan, His Excellency Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

The President of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, paid an official visit to Pakistan at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on 16-17 March 2016. He was accompanied by Ministers and senior officials of the Government of Turkmenistan as well as a group of leading businessmen.

The President of Turkmenistan His Excellency Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov had a meeting with His Excellency, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan. He also held talks with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

The leaders noted that Pakistan and Turkmenistan enjoy cordial relations, which is characterized by bonds of historical, cultural and religious affinity and mutual respect. These are rooted deep in the hearts of the peoples. Both sides attach great importance to the friendship between their peoples and the need to further strengthen their cooperation.

The leaders recognized the importance of bilateral high-level political interaction that provides impetus to all areas of bilateral relations.

The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. The leaders noted with satisfaction significant progress made in recent years in the strengthening of bilateral relations and increase in the high-level exchanges between the two countries. The two sides emphasized the importance of timely meetings of established bilateral mechanisms for enhancing cooperation in agreed sectors. They reaffirmed their commitment to sustain the momentum of upward trajectory of bilateral ties.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan agreed to enhance cooperation on international and regional issues of common interest, and continue coordination within international and regional mechanisms such as the UN, NAM, G-77, ECO, and OIC. The two leaders expressed their resolve to work together for promoting regional peace, development and prosperity.

The Prime Minister appreciated the visionary leadership and sagacity of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov that have brought prosperity and socio-economic development to Turkmenistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan once again congratulated Turkmenistan on the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Declaration of Neutrality and reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for this initiative, which has contributed toward peace and stability in the region.

The two sides agreed that bilateral cooperation in all sectors holds great potential. They agreed to create conducive conditions and initiate important development projects in trade, economic, financial and other sectors for the promotion of infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, multi-media technology, banking, environment and energy sectors. Turkmenistan is endowed with huge hydro-carbon resources, which can provide energy to Pakistan to meet its shortage. Pakistan also supports Turkmenistan’s initiative to establish trans-regional energy corridors.

The President and the Prime Minister underlined the significance of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and expressed satisfaction over ground breaking of the project in December 2015. The Prime Minister of Pakistan appreciated the initiative by the President of Turkmenistan for implementation of this important project. They also agreed to take measures for early completion of this important regional energy project.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan decided to commence work for making rapid progress on the Memorandum of Understanding between Turkmenistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed in December 2015. This important energy project will facilitate Pakistan Government’s efforts to mitigate the energy deficit at the earliest. The leaders directed all concerned to implement this project at the earliest.

The two countries agreed to enhance bilateral economic and trade relations. Both sides realize that the volume of trade figures do not match the goodwill that exists between the two countries. They agreed to take appropriate measures to enhance bilateral trade and explore possibilities for its increase and diversification.

The leaders welcomed the holding of Pakistan-Turkmenistan Business Forum on the sidelines of the visit. Both sides agreed that such sector based interaction between businessmen of the two countries should be a regular feature that will facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif appreciated the various initiatives taken by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for creation of transit transport corridors. Pakistan commends Turkmenistan’s offer to hold the First World Conference on Sustainable Transport in Ashgabat at the end of 2016.

The two sides decided to improve connectivity by establishing communication corridors. These will be conducive to tapping the potential of trade, economic interaction, people-to-people contacts and tourism. Given the special geo-economic and geo-political significance of both countries, Pakistan and Turkmenistan decided to pay special attention to establishing air, road and rail links on priority basis.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan congratulated the President of Turkmenistan on construction of a significant railway corridor in the region, connecting Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and the ongoing project of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan Railway line.

The Pakistan side has offered Turkmenistan use of Pakistani seaports for its trade with the other countries, they being the shortest route to sea to all Central Asian States.

The leaders agreed to keep close coordination for the successful conduct of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in 2017.

Turkmenistan highly appreciated the efforts being made by Pakistan to eradicate the menace of terrorism and extremism. Both sides decided to increase their cooperation in security, countering terrorism, and cooperation against illicit traffic of narcotics, transnational organized crime and other threats.

It was decided by the two leaders that bilateral cooperation in culture, science, art, tourism and sports should be further enhanced.

The following documents were signed during the visit:

  • Programme of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for 2016-2017.
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Finance of Turkmenistan and Financial Monitoring Unit of Islamic Republic of Pakistan concerning cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and terrorist financing.
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on further development of cooperation in the field of Fuel and Energy Sector.
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between Turkmen State University named after Magtymguly (Turkmenistan) and National University of Modern Languages (Islamic Republic of Pakistan).
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between the Centre for Policy Studies, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (Islamic Republic of Pakistan) and the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  •  Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the International University for the Humanities and Development (Turkmenistan) and Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (Islamic Republic of Pakistan).
  •  Memorandum of Understanding between Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management, (Turkmenistan) and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (Islamic Republic of Pakistan).

The President of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the people of Pakistan for the warm welcome and generous hospitality, and invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan to pay an official visit to Turkmenistan at mutually convenient dates. The invitation was accepted with thanks by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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