ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zar­dari, on Monday, called for the Transit Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan, to be finalised at the earliest, in order to further boost bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries.

The president expressed these views in a meeting with the Ambassador of Turkmenistan Atadjan Movlamov, who called on him at Aiwan-i-Sadr. Mr Zardari said that the agreement, once signed, would help expand trade, promote regional connectivity and enhance economic activities in the region.

According to the Presidency, both sides also expressed a desire to complete the TAPI Gas Pipeline, at the earliest. They stated, this would support Pakistan’s economy, whilst simultaneously helping the country meet its energy needs.

While welcoming the ambassador, the president said Pakistan has always attached a ‘special value’, to its bilateral relations with Turkmenistan. This is in view of centuries-old historical, religious and cultural linkages. Zardari expressed a desire to increase high-level exchanges with Turkmenistan, to give fresh impetus to bilateral ties.

He expressed Pakistan’s eagerness to work with Turkmenistan, to enhance ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’. The president highlighted that the existing volume of trade between the two countries, warrants further attention, for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The president recalled his visit to Turkmenistan during his first term as president in 2010 with fondness. Mr Zardari had visited Turkmenistan to participate in the TAPI Summit as well as the fourth International Nauroz Festival in 2013.

The ambassador of Turkmenistan conveyed warm greetings on behalf of the Turkmen President Serdar Berdimu­ha­medov and former president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to President Zardari, upon on his re-election. He said the trade agreement, goes beyond benefiting the two brotherly countries, as it would generate huge transit trade activities, for the region as a whole.

The president expressed warm wishes for the leadership of Turkmenistan and thanked them for their felicitations.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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