|Pakistan, Iran vow to expedite joint mega projects||
BAKU: Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari in his meeting with Iranian President Mehmoud Ahmedinejad on the sidelines of 12th ECO summit, emphasized the need for expeditious implementation of various joint mega projects.
The two leaders discussed the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, electricity transmission lines and rail and road projects.
From Pakistan side, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Pakistan’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, Inayat Ullah Kakar, and Alamgir Babar attended the meeting among others.
President Zardari said that greater interactions between the leadership and the people of the two countries would not only strengthen mutual historical, cultural and religious bonds but would also help to benefit from each others' resources and expertise. The President stated that there exist huge potential of trade between the two countries and urged for effective steps which includes preferential tariff and free trade arrangements to reach the bilateral trade target of U.S. $ 10 billion.
The agreement on export of wheat and rice to Iran was a test case for our barter trade and if successful it can be replicated in other areas, President Zardari said and stressed the need for removing tariff and non-tariff barriers and identifying alternative arrangements to further enhance the bilateral trade.
The two leaders also reviewed progress on the mega projects, including the Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline, the 1000 MW Taftan-Quetta power transmission line; the 100 MW Gwadar power supply project; construction of Noshki-Dalbandin section of Quetta-Taftan Highway and up-gradation of the Quetta-Taftan Railway Track and urged for early implementation of these projects.
On situation in Syria, President Zardari said Pakistan was deeply concerned over the fast deteriorating situation in Syria, as we believed that stability in this region was important for peace in the region and beyond.
He said Pakistan desired immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria and will continue advocating principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
On situation in Afghanistan, the President reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance of supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
The President said that Control of trans-border movement of narcotic drugs and human trafficking among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran is a priority for our Government and stressed the need to further intensify cooperation at the bilateral and trilateral levels.
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