Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said Pakistan and Azerbaijan shared similar perceptions through congenial ideals which were vital for the regional integration and connectivity.
“We believe that all the regional and global issues must be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means within the framework of international law,” he said in a joint press stakeout with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Prime Minister Sharif said they remained advocates of “peaceful neighbourhood’ and ‘ peace for development” in spite of naked aggression from others.
However, the courage to remain steadfast to the principles of peace must never be mistaken for weakness, he stressed.
The Prime Minister said the mutual support between Pakistan and Azerbaijan on the Kashmir and Nagorno Karabakh testified to the close understanding and convergence of common views.
Reiterating Pakistan’s stance over Nagorno Karabakh, Prime Minister Sharif called for complete return of occupied Azeri lands, withdrawal of Armenian forces and return of internally displaced people and refugees.
The Prime Minister also appreciated Azerbaijan’s support for Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Prime Minister said the mutual support would remain firm between the two countries till final resolution of the outstanding issues.
The prospects of development and progress of both countries as well as the peace and security of the region remained hostage to these conflicts.
The Prime Minister said they also resolved to enhance and diversify the already dynamic relations between the two countries. “We noted with satisfaction that our political relations are steadily growing,” he said, adding that both countries agreed to further strengthen these relations in diverse fields.
Prime Minister Sharif observed that their bilateral trade currently did not commensurate with actual potential and needed to be revitalised.
He also lauded the socio-economic development and progress of Azerbaijan under the dynamic leadership of Aliyev.
Expressing gratitude to the warm and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation, the Prime Minister said his visit to Baku gave an opportunity to reflect upon common goals of progress, prosperity, development, connectivity and integration of the entire region.
Referring to his first ever visit to Baku, he said it had a semblance of home for all Pakistanis and cited the historic building of Multan Serai in the very heart of the city, which bore testimony for the long historic ties.
He said being bearers of such traditions, the leadership of the two countries agreed to effectively channelise their energies in increasing connectivity leading to greater regional integration.
Speaking on the occasion, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said Pakistan is a close friend of Azerbaijan as it had supported his country on Nagorno Karabakh issue.
He said they supported Pakistan’s stance over Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions which unfortunately remained unfulfilled.
He said such stance by the leadership of the two countries also united them and the people of Azerbaijan were grateful to Prime Minister Sharif who during his past tenure had supported them on the Nagorno Karabakh issue.
President Aliyev said during their meetings, they also agreed to further boost their economic and investment ties, especially export sector through a mechanism.
Pakistan has rich experience in the pharmaceutical sector and Azerbaijan would like to explore cooperation in that regard.
He said they were keen for joint military training, besides cooperation in the defence production field.
The President hoped that electornic visa system would be activated to facilitate tourism between the two countries.
Earlier, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday discussed a wide range of bilateral issues with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stressing upon building of strong economic and investment ties between the two countries. -APP