Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Bosnia and Herzegovina from 20-22 December 2016, at the invitation of H.E. Dr.Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister).
Apart from delegation level talks with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minster also met the Chairman and members of the Presidency, leaders and members of the Lower and Upper Houses of the Parliamentary Assembly. The Reis-ul-Ulema (Grand Mufti) of the Islamic community, Mr. Husein ef. Kavazovic also called on the Prime Minister.
While reviewing the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, both sides underlined the importance of further deepening of political, trade and economic ties, defence cooperation, inter-parliamentary linkages and enhancing cultural and educational relations. The Bosnian side evinced interest in benefiting from Pakistan’s expertise in the textile sector.
Both sides agreed to exchange defence and trade delegations. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers invited Pakistan to participate in the agricultural exhibition in Mostar early next year, which was accepted. Views were also exchanged on regional and international issues, noting commonality of perspectives.
Both countries agreed to: a) sign a Visa Abolition Agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports of two countries in the near future; b) holding meetings of the 2nd round of negotiations on Preferential Trade Agreement, Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and Joint Trade Committee in 2017; and c) finalizing additional agreements in the areas of cooperation against terrorism, organized crime, anti-narcotics, as well as cooperation in the field of culture and education.
The Prime Minister and Dr. Denis Zvizdic addressed a Joint Press Conference. The two leaders also attended a Business Forum and invited members of the Foreign Trade Chamber, Foreign Investment Promotion Agency and Bosnian businessmen as well as entrepreneurs of the two countries to take advantage of the opportunities that the two countries offer in several areas. The delegation level talks as well as other meetings were marked by warmth, cordiality and productive outcomes.
The Prime Minister also visited the Memorial Centre of Srebrenica and laid a wreath at the grave of founding President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alijah Izetbegovic. This was Prime Minister’s first official visit to the Balkans during this term and second to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Prime Minister had earlier visited the country in 1996 as Leader of the opposition. The Prime Minister invited Chairman of the Council of Ministers and other leaders to visit Pakistan. The invitations were accepted.
During the hour-long refueling stop-over in Bucharest, Romania on 22 December, the Prime Minister was received at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Mr. Costin Girgore Borc. During the course of their exchange, it was agreed to further strengthen bilateral ties between Pakistan and Romania particularly in the areas of trade, investment and defence.
The visit by the Prime Minister was part of Pakistan’s continuing international outreach aimed at highlighting the advances made in the area of economy, security and strengthening of democratic institutions. The visit also provided an opportunity to share Pakistan’s perspective and policy on a range of key regional and international issues.