ASHGABAT, May 20 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan desired to have enhanced bilateral trade and communication links with Turkmenistan.
"Pakistan and Turkmenistan possess rich experience in agriculture, agro-based industry including wheat, rice, textile and food processing. Hence both our countries can mutually benefit from each other's expertise in these areas," the Prime Minister said while speaking at a banquet hosted in his honour by the President of Turkmenistan.
He said Pakistan and Turkmenistan were located at important geo-strategic locations and were blessed with enormously diversified natural resources, technological base, skilled manpower and reasonable infrastructure.
The Prime Minister said Turkmenistan was endowed with huge hydrocarbon resources, which could assist Pakistan in meeting its energy requirements, adding, "We are keen on the early implementation of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project."
He appreciated the efforts being made by the Government of Turkmenistan towards promoting this vital regional energy trade project.
The Prime Minister said since peace and stability had paramount importance for realization of vital regional trade,transit, and energy export projects, Pakistan supports all those measures and initiatives, which bring enduring peace and security to the region.
Nawaz Sharif recalled the historic visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Pakistan in 2011, which paved the way for promoting cooperation between the two brotherly countries.
"Such high-level visits are of great value in strengthening our friendship and cooperation," he added.
The Prime Minister said Turkmenistan and Pakistan share common cultural and religious values which are deep-rooted in history.
He said Pakistan greatly admires its brotherly relations with Turkmenistan, adding, these bonds of friendship facilitate cooperation in economy, trade, energy, communications and infrastructure.
The Prime Minister used the words of Turkmenistan's national poet, Makhtumkuli Faragi, to describe the long-lasting friendship: "Tribes are like brothers, like family, like true friends. Even destiny doesn't dare antagonize them, when they are united. Their unity is the light of God."
Nawaz Sharif said the people and Government of Pakistan were happy to see Turkmenistan moving forward on the path of prosperity and socio-economic development.
He appreciated the remarkable successes of Turkmenistan under the able and visionary leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The Prime Minister extended his felicitations on the 20thAnniversary of Turkmenistan's Declaration of Neutrality. "We acknowledge the important role this policy has played in promoting peace and stability in the region," he added.
He also congratulated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the launch of Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite; `Turkmen Alem 52E', adding, "This provides an opportunity for the two countries to cooperate in the field of telecommunications."
The Prime Minister also congratulated the President of Turkmenistan on the successful completion of the railway corridor connecting Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) ongoing railway project.
"These projects will lead to enhance regional trade besides bringing prosperity and peace", he said and added that Pakistan would also like to get connected to such regional transit andtransport networks for trade and economic activity.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in his remarks on the occasion said Turkmenistan paid special significance to further development of close inter-state relations with Pakistan, adding, "In this direction, we highly value the results of this official visit."
He said the high level negotiations held during the visit proved the enrichment of traditions of Turkmen-Pakistan friendly and brotherly relations extending from the ancient times.
"We are deeply proud and glorified that our close and firm relations strengthen and gain new meaning and content even more," he added.
The President of Turkmenistan said today the two sides held productive negotiations and reached significant agreements in the atmosphere of openness, mutual understanding and respect.
He was confident that the cooperation between Turkmenistan and Pakistan based on mutual respect, confidence and support would further develop and strengthen.
The President expressed his deep gratitude to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his endeavours and personal contribution to strengthening of friendly and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkmenistan.