Uzbekistan, Pakistan ink strategic partnership deal

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tashkent.(pic credit: https://twitter.com/president_uz)

Tashkent, (Asian independent) Uzbekistan and Pakistan have signed a strategic partnership agreement, vowing to boost bilateral trade volume by five times.

The agreement was signed on Friday by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who jointly hosted a bilateral business forum on regional connectivity, reports Xinhua news agency.

Following the talks, several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements with a total worth of $500 million were inked to strengthen cooperation in diverse areas, including transit trade and the simplification of visa procedures for businessmen and tourists.

Addressing a joint press conference with Mirziyoyev, Khan announced that countries including Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Turkey “will try and help facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan”, Dawn news reported.

“We are both concerned as neighbours of Afghanistan that the people of Afghanistan have suffered for the last 40 years,” he said while referring to the Uzbek leader.

“And as neighbours, we feel they are our brothers, that there should be peace there, there should be a peaceful political settlement. So we discussed that in detail and we also resolved that the neighbours — Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Pakistan and even Turkey — we will try and help facilitate a peace process in Afganistan.”

In this regard, Khan said he hoped that the foreign ministers of the above countries would meet first and “then we will go on and try and have a summit so that we can stop what looks like a civil war” in Afghanistan.