21 May, 2015

ASHGABAT: Pakistan and Turkmenistan on Wednesday 20,May,2015 resolved to make earnest efforts for early implementation of a trans-regional TAPI gas pipeline project, which will be a game changer and create win-win situation for all stakeholders.

“We stressed the need for fast-track progress on trans-regional energy projects, including Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan and India (TAPI) to advance the goal of greater regional integration,” Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a joint press stakeout along with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov here. The two leaders, who earlier held one-to-one and delegation level talks told media that during the wide-ranging consultations on a whole range of bilateral relations, they discussed measures to counter the challenges that they face and to exploit the opportunities available to them.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan and Turkmenistan enjoy excellent bilateral relations in all fields, which were based on mutual respect, common faith and shared interests. “Our relations are marked by cordiality and commonality of views on major regional and international issues,” he added. The Prime Minister said the two brotherly countries have commonalities of views on a broad range of issues, including peace and stability, counter-terrorism, menace of drugs, trade and economic cooperation, investments, and regional cooperation. He said Pakistan wishes to further enhance relations with Turkmenistan in all areas of cooperation, adding, “We agreed on the need for regular high-level political exchanges between Pakistan and Turkmenistan.”

The Prime Minister said the two sides also agreed to promote bilateral trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. “It is in the interest of our two countries to make full use of endowed reservoir of human and material resources, including through improving infrastructure, building road and rail links, and enhancing energy collaboration,” he added. He was confident that the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) today (Wednesday) would help further strengthen Pakistan’s relations with Turkmenistan. The Prime Minister said he and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov had convergent views on the importance of cooperation between Pakistan and Turkmenistan at the multilateral forums, especially the UN, G-77, NAM, OIC and ECO.

He said the two sides also exchanged views on reform of the UN Security Council, which should be equitable and reflect aspirations of the entire UN membership, adding, “It should particularly take into account the interests of the smaller states.” The Prime Minister said he has extended felicitations on the 20th Anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Declaration of Neutrality and reaffirmed Pakistan’s unflinching support to Turkmenistan for the visionary initiative of declaring Permanent Neutrality. “I informed the President that Pakistan’s top priority is growth and development to ensure prosperity to our people. To this end, we want peaceful relations with all our neighbours,” he added.

He said Pakistan will continue to provide modest assistance to Turkmenistan for human resource development, particularly in the fields of diplomacy, banking etc. The Prime Minister said he was extremely happy to visit Turkmenistan, adding, the nation’s rich culture, scale of its development and progress and its exalted position in the comity of nations, were indeed most commendable. Nawaz Sharif said he has brought with him cordial greetings of the people of Pakistan for their Turkmen brethren. The Prime Minister thanked President Gurbanguly, his government and the brotherly people of Turkmenistan, for the very warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation.

“I look forward to a long-lasting partnership that will not only strengthen existing ties, but also open up new areas for cooperation to the mutual benefit of Pakistan and Turkmenistan,” he added. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov told the press stakeout that the two sides exchanged thoughts on the ways and means to enhance bilateral cooperation in different spheres. He lauded Pakistan for its continued support in assistance in different spheres from the first day of the independence of Turkmenistan, adding, his country respects for its important role in the peace and security of the region and world.

The President of Turkmenistan said after 2015 as year of peace and neutrality by Turkmenistan, he has invited Prime Minister Sharif to participate in the mega events to be held by his country during the current year. He also stressed the need for early implementation of international projects including TAPI.