Tashkent, 24 January 2023 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met the Acting Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov in Tashkent on Monday.

During the meeting, both leaders agreed to further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields with a special focus on trade, energy, and regional connectivity.

Both officials discussed the prospects for further development of the Uzbek-Pakistani strategic partnership to implement the highest-level agreements reached effectively. They also deliberated on regional policy issues, including the situation in Afghanistan.

They emphasized the importance of fully utilizing the existing potential for cooperation in the transportation and communication sectors, as well as the activation of economic diplomacy.

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Bilawal congratulated Uzbekistan on its successful presidency of the Economic Cooperation Organization.

Foreign Minister’s visit to Uzbekistan

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is paying an official visit to Uzbekistan from the 23rd to the 24th of January to attend the 26th meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

The theme of the conference is ‘Year of Strengthening Connectivity’. According to Foreign Office, the Foreign Minister will address the council.

He will separately hold meetings with participating Ministers of member states and other dignitaries on the sidelines of the event.

The COM is the policy-making forum of the ECO that approves the decisions and annual work plans of the organization.

Other bilateral engagements

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan also held a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin, in Tashkent.

The two Ministers expressed satisfaction with recent high engagements and agreed to further enhance the existing excellent bilateral relations and economic cooperation, especially in trade, energy, and connectivity.

Bilawal appreciated the close cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral forum including at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan. ‘

He underlined the commitment of Pakistan to supporting Afghanistan by continuing relief efforts and ensuring lasting peace and stability.

Bilawal stressed the importance of road and energy connectivity for regional prosperity. In this vein, he spoke about the need for the completion of the CASA-1000 power transmission project in this context.