ASHGABAT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met on Friday and discussed matters of bilateral interest, including the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline and re-establishing air links between their countries.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif told the Turkmen leader that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would usher in a new era of prosperity in Pakistan and the entire region, said a statement by the Prime Minister House.
“The future of the region’s population is linked to CPEC,” he said, adding that Pakistan would welcome any country interested in joining the project.
Mr Sharif said that Tapi was an important project which would help in meeting the energy needs of its member countries.
The relations between Pakistan and Turkmenistan were getting stronger by the day. He proposed that high-level meetings be held every year in Islamabad and Ashgabat.
President Berdimuhamedov echoed Mr Sharif’s views about the importance of CPEC and said it was a project that would guarantee progress and prosperity in the region.
He lauded the vision of the prime minister and said bold steps had been taken to strengthen Pakistan’s economy.
The two leaders also exchanged views on international issues and other issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, Mr Sharif arrived in Turkmenistan’s capital to lead his country’s delegation to the first Global Conference on Sustainable Transport.
He was accompanied by Adviser on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui and Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
The prime minister undertook the visit at the invitation of Turkmenistan’s president, who is co-hosting the conference with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The conference — likely to be attended by around 1,500 delegates, including heads of state and government, ministers, civil society leaders and the UN officials — will discuss the role of sustainable transport towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“Pakistan is keen to improve connectivity with the Central Asian states by establishing transport and communication links. These will be conducive to tapping the potential of trade, economic interaction, people-to-people contacts and tourism,” an earlier statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Published in Dawn November 26th, 2016