2.Pakistan, Azerbaijan are Ecstatic to fast-track energy talks
ASTANA: In order to advance regional connectivity, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan decided on Wednesday to hold quick talks on bilateral energy cooperation in Islamabad through active engagement and leadership-level consultations.
Shehbaz and Aliyev met in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday and Thursday, outside the sixth summit of the Conference for Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) (today). At the summit, the prime minister is speaking on behalf of Pakistan.
Both the prime minister and the president of Azerbaijan reaffirmed their commitment to stepping up and deepening their bilateral engagement across a range of issues during their meeting. The two leaders went over the status of various ongoing projects to advance trade, investment, and connectivity.
Shehbaz emphasised the significance of strengthening close bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, stating that it was a top priority for his government. He claimed to have designated the petroleum minister of state as the main contact for bilateral energy cooperation. Shehbaz’s suggestion for leadership-level discussions in Islamabad to advance regional connectivity was well received. The two leaders also spoke about topics of interest on the regional and international levels.
The prime minister also gave President Aliyev an update on his administration’s efforts to help Pakistan’s millions of flood victims. He received the full support of the Azerbaijani government, according to President Aliyev.
Shehbaz was grateful for Azerbaijan’s unwavering stance on Jammu and Kashmir.
He reiterated Pakistan’s unequivocal support for Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabagh and expressed gratitude for President Ilham Aliyev’s efforts to establish a lasting peace in the South Caucasus.
Shehbaz had previously travelled to Astana at Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s invitation to take part in the sixth CICA Summit. At the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, he was welcomed by Yerulan Zhama’ubayev, the deputy prime minister of Kazakhstan. On October 13 (today), the prime minister will give a speech to the CICA plenary meeting in which he will go into greater detail about the importance of CICA as a special forum for encouraging communication, comprehension, and cooperation among nations throughout Asia to address shared challenges.
Shehbaz emphasised the “greater need to promote engagement and understanding to form win-win partnerships” among the Asian nations before his departure for Astana on Wednesday morning. In a tweet, he stated, “I think CICA can shape a new configuration of economic cooperation and security in Asia through greater connectivity.
According to a previous statement from the Foreign Office, “The Prime Minister’s participation in the CICA Summit attests to the importance attached by Pakistan to promoting connectivity and economic cooperation in Asia, in keeping with the objectives enshrined in the CICA Charter.”
CICA is an intergovernmental organisation that was founded in 1992 and consists of 27 nations from all over Asia. It focuses on advancing stability, safety, and socioeconomic growth across Asia. One of its founding members is Pakistan.