DUSHANBE. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Dushanbe, Tajikistan Tuesday on a two-day visit at the invitation of President Emomali Rahmon to discuss energy, infrastructure, connectivity and security.

The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Minister for Water and Power, Minister for Textile Industry, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and senior officials.

“Pakistan attaches high importance to its deep historical bonds with Central Asia and is committed to expanding mutually-beneficial cooperation with all countries in the region,” a statement released in Islamabad from the Foreign Office said.

The Prime Minister's visit is part of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and was reflective of this high priority and the commitment to further deepen Pakistan's engagement with Central Asia.

Relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan are marked by cordiality and close cooperation in diverse fields. The two countries share similar views on major regional and international issues and collaborate closely in multilateral fora including UN, OIC, ECO, and SCO.

During his stay in Dushanbe, the prime minister would have meetings with President Emomali Rahmon and Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda - covering all aspects of bilateral relations including political, trade, economic, energy, infrastructure, connectivity, human resource development, culture, defence and security, and people-to-people contacts.

CASA-1000, a project for regional energy cooperation among Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, would be another key area of focus.

In the regional context, the prime minister was expected to exchange views with the Tajik leadership on the developments in Afghanistan.

As close neighbours of Afghanistan, both Pakistan and Tajikistan support efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan, which is vital for regional stability.

A number of agreement and MoUs are expected to be concluded during the visit.

Pakistan was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Tajikistan soon after its independence in 1991.

Bilateral ties between the two countries are based on mutual respect, shared interests, and a common desire to promote peace, stability and development in the region and beyond.

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