Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to open new chapter of friendship, cooperation

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Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to open new chapter of friendship, cooperation

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to open a new chapter of friendship and cooperation based on mutual trust and harmony for the benefit of the two peoples and countries and for advancing the cause of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The agreement came during a one-on-one meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Ashraf Ghani in Islamabad today, followed by delegation-level talks.

The two leaders exchanged views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Imran Khan affirmed that Pakistan remains committed to bring about a qualitative transformation in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations as part of his vision of a "peaceful neighbourhood."

The two leaders agreed on the importance of crafting a forward-looking vision of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.

Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan's commitment to support the Afghan peace process as a shared responsibility.

He underlined that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is the only viable option to end the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan. He said in this regard, Pakistan supports a result-oriented intra-Afghan dialogue.

The Prime Minister underscored Pakistan's respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and its commitment to stand by the Afghan people at this crucial juncture.

He said Pakistan remains committed to a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan and wishes to have stronger political, trade, economic, and people-to-people relations with Afghanistan.

The two leaders agreed that enduring peace in Afghanistan would bring rich economic dividends to both the countries.

They reaffirmed their commitment to work together to broaden and deepen bilateral trade, streamline transit trade, and strengthen efforts for connectivity.

It was agreed to optimally utilize the existing mechanisms, including Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority and Joint Economic Commission, to remove difficulties in transit and bilateral trade and to explore new possibilities of mutually-beneficial economic and commercial relations.

There was also an exchange of views on regional issues. The Prime Minister shared his vision for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia.

Talking to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appreciated Pakistan's efforts on the peace process in Afghanistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan will continue to playits re-conciliatory role for peace in Afghanistan with sincerity, good intentions and open heart.

He said Pakistan always emphasized on result-oriented talks believing that this is the only way to establish durable peace in Afghanistan.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Afghan people have suffered a lot due to the instability prevailing in the country for decades.

Foreign Minister said the Afghan President's visit will bring the two countries closer and strengthen bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to implement the strategy of peace and brotherhood for betterment and welfare of the peoples of the two countries.

They exchanged views to enhance bilateral economy, trade and investment and promote cooperation in communications, energy, culture and people to people contacts.

Earlier, a warm welcome was accorded to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he arrived in Islamabad on a two day visit to Pakistan. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood and other Pakistani officials received him at Nur Khan Airbase. The visiting dignitary was given a twenty one gun salute.