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Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Pakistan, Maldives agree to further enhance bilateral ties

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by July 26, 2017 General

Pakistan and Maldives on

Tuesday agreed to further enhance their bilateral relations in

various fields, overcome common challenges and work jointly to

make SAARC a vibrant organization.

Speaking at a joint press conference here along with

President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Prime

Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said they exchanged views and

ideas to further expand and strengthen bilateral relations

in all areas of mutual interest, including trade,

education, tourism, defence and people-to-people contacts.

The prime minister is on a three-day official visit of

Maldives on the invitation of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul

Gayoom, and will be the chief guest at the 52nd Independence

Day celebrations of the country on July 26.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said they had a complete meeting

of minds on the need to overcome common challenges such as

climate change and terrorism.

He said they also agreed to work together to make the

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

a vibrant organization and a vehicle to realize their shared

dreams for a peaceful and prosperous region.

The prime minister said the last Islamabad SAARC summit

was not the first time that India caused harm to the SAARC by

seeking postponement of the summit. It had done so on four

occasions, he added.

He said India undermined and violated the spirit of

SAARC Charter by casting shadows of bilateral issues and

problems on a multilateral forum for regional cooperation.

We, however, remain grateful for President Abdualla

Yameen’s support regarding the SAARC summit in Islamabad,

he added.

The prime minister said during the meeting, he also

highlighted the ongoing brutal repression and gross human

rights violations by the Indian occupation forces in the

Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif also briefed President

Abdulla Yameen on Pakistan’s efforts to fight the scourge

of terrorism.

The brave people and armed forces of Pakistan have

been resolute in the face of terror and have rendered untold

sacrifices, the prime minister said. We have launched

successful operations against terrorists and have won

important victories.

It was Pakistan’s contribution to the peace and

stability of the entire region, he added.

He said President Yameen shared with him his vision of

promoting cooperation and friendly relations between the

Maldives and other countries. Pakistan stood ready to support

his efforts, he added.

He said both the countries had signed a number of

memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for enhancing bilateral

cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade, education, capacity

building of civil servants and training for diplomats.

He said Pakistan-Maldives Joint Business Council and

Joint Working Group had been established, which would

serve as platforms for enhanced trade and investment cooperation

by facilitating collaboration between businesses and

institutions.

In order to sustain on the progress already achieved in

bilateral relations, the prime minister said both the

countries had constituted four joint working committees.

The committees would oversee the implementation of the

MoUs signed between the two counties, including those concluded

during President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to Pakistan in 2015,

he said and added that the MoUs related to sports, health,

education and combating illicit drugs.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he briefed President Abdulla

Yameen on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the

contribution that the truly historic initiative would make to

the region’s economic integration, connectivity and shared

prosperity.

He announced establishment of a medical college for the

people of Maldives. Pakistan would provide all resources for

it, he added.

Further, he said, from this year on, they would also

provide five additional slots for Maldivian students to study

medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dentistry in Pakistan.

Congratulating the people and leadership of Maldives on

their 52nd year of independence, the prime minister said it

was a matter of great happiness for him to share in the

celebrations.

It was a measure of the warmth and cordiality between

Pakistan and the Maldives that President Abdulla Yameen had

accorded to him the honour of being the chief guest on the

happy occasion, he said, adding that he was deeply touched

by this gesture of friendship.

Speaking on the occasion, President Abdulla

Yameen Abdul Gayoom said he had received the same feelings of

warmth, friendliness and mutual respect that he carried from

the people of Pakistan for the people of the Maldives during

his visit to Pakistan in 2015.

He said the bonds of goodwill and amity would endure

and continue to manifest themselves in ever-closer cooperation

between the two countries, not only bilaterally but at all the

relevant international fora as well.

He said Pakistan had made a tremendous contribution to

Maldives in the fields of education and thanked the prime

minister for setting up a medical college.

He said they also agreed to join their efforts for

eradication of terrorism and extremism.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage

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