Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to forge robust economic ties

Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to expand cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, energy and building infrastructure.

The understanding came at a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Islamabad on Saturday.

The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations with focus on economic cooperation to meet security challenges including terrorism in the region.

Later addressing a joint press conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the two sides recognize to build a strong relationship based on mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He said they face formidable challenges including terrorism, security, environment and transnational crimes. He said that we could only meet them by exploiting the full potential of cooperation collectively.

Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed that peaceful, prosperous and united Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital interest. He also reaffirmed support for intra Afghan reconciliation process saying this should be fully Afghan-led and Afghan owned.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan is committed to upgrade cooperation in border security, defense, Afghan reconstruction, capacity building, parliamentary exchanges and cultural links.

In his remarks, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said partnership with Pakistan is important pillar of Afghan’s foreign policy.

Earlier, a formal welcome ceremony in honor of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was held at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad .

On the occasion, a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces presented guard of honor to the visiting dignitary. Anthems of both the countries were also played.

Later, the Prime Minister introduced his cabinet members to the Afghan president while the Afghan President introduced his delegation to the Prime Minister.

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