ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan will do all it can to amicably resolve the diplomatic crisis in the Arabian Gulf. And Sharif is expected to fly to Qatar and Kuwait in this connection.
Arab powers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, took the unprecedented decision to cut off their air, sea and land links to Qatar on Monday, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East.
“Since Pakistan enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar, we will try our best to resolve the differences between the Arab countries,” Sharif said while speaking to journalists during a visit to Kazakhstan.
The premier said the Muslim world should play its role in ending the diplomatic crisis in the Arabian Gulf. Sharif flew into the Central Asian state on Thursday to attend a two-day meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The prime minister, who was accompanied by his wife Kalsoom Nawaz, was received by the Kazakh deputy foreign minister. Sharif’s delegation also comprises Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz.
Premier Sharif met the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Sources say he will also be meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his request. He is also expected to fly to Qatar and Kuwait after his Astana trip. The premier is likely to hold bilateral meetings with the presidents of Mongolia and Russia.
The prime minister will also attend the inaugural ceremony of the International Expo 2017, in which more than 100 countries, including Pakistan, are participating.
Meanwhile, Premier Sharif met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Karim Massimov where he reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment of mutual cooperation in energy sector and human resource development.
The two sides agreed to bolster bilateral ties through enhanced cooperation in trade, economy, energy, science and technology, education, and air-connectivity for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly countries.
“As we move forward, we would be taking concrete steps to expand mutual cooperation in diverse fields, including regional connectivity, energy, security, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges,” said Premier Sharif while addressing a joint press stakeout with President Nazarbayev after the talks.
Sharif said the two sides also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation by optimally utilising the existing institutional mechanisms, adding that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan was not commensurate with the actual potential and needed to be revitalised.
Sharif said he was impressed by the remarkable political stability, social cohesion and impressive economic progress that had been achieved under the visionary leadership of President Nazarbayev. “We wish Kazakhstan all the best on its road to progress and prosperity,” he added.
Premier Sharif mentioned the deep-rooted and historic fraternal ties between the people of Pakistan and Kazakhstan and said the two countries also have great potential to further strengthen their relations to mutual benefit.
Sharif said his visit provided him an opportunity to discuss with President Nazarbayev a wide range of subjects and they touched upon the whole spectrum of bilateral, regional and international issues.
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