Islamabad: Pakistan, along with representatives from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and the United States, agreed in principle to create a new quadripartite diplomatic platform focused on improving regional connectivity.
The decision was announced at the international conference “Central and South Asia 2021” in Tashkent.
“The parties believe that long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan is critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs also released a joint statement on social media.
The four countries are seeking to unleash the region’s economic potential through a new partnership. “Recognizing the historic opportunity to open thriving interregional trade routes, the parties intend to work together to expand trade, create transit links and strengthen business ties,” the official statement said. The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the terms of this cooperation by mutual consensus.
Pakistan is improving trade links with Central Asian countries by connecting the landlocked region through its seaports to enhance its geo-economic status and enhance regional prosperity and development.
During his two-day (July 15-16) visit to Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan’s ties with Uzbekistan would open up new opportunities for prosperity in the region.
“Pakistan has great potential to connect Central Asia with the rest of the world and turn it into a trade center,” he said in his speech at the Uzbek-Pakistani business forum in Tashkent.