Portraits of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov displayed at Constitution Avenue on November 14.—APP

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and president of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov on Monday agreed on expediting projects on energy cooperation and bilateral trade.

In a meeting held at the Presidency, the two leaders expressed the resolve to expedite the $7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, which was inked last December in Ashgabat.

The two sides agreed to start direct air-links between Pakistan and Turkmenistan which would develop a trade corridor in the region.

The meeting also covered major issues of regional and international interest.

Both sides expressed strong commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations on principles of equality with an objective to work for region's peace and stability.

The two presidents stressed the need for international cooperation to combat terrorism, illicit trafficking of weapons and narcotics, illegal migration and other crimes.

President Zardari underlined the positive role of Joint Inter-governmental Turkmen Pakistan Commission and strengthening of trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He said the TAPI pipeline would provide energy security and would ensure economic stability in the region.

He said Turkmenistan was an important member of the Central Asian Republics and could play a vital role in bridging the region with the rest of the world.

The Turkmen president said his country was keen to upgrade bilateral ties with Pakistan in economic and trade fields.

He invited President Zardari to visit Turkmenistan.