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Foreign Affairs

Pakistan upgrading road, rail network with neighbors: Pak FM

Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan is upgrading its rail and infrastructure to facilitate smooth flow of goods with its neighbors.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement said that the Minister made the remarks during the 25th Informal Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization held on the sidelines of the seventy-third session of the UNGA in New York.

He further added that the Istanbul-Tehran-Istanbul corridor and the Pakistan-Iran-Turkmenistan rail link were being made functional, the statement said.

Recognizing the importance of the ECO platform, he said Pakistan enjoys fraternal and brotherly relations with ECO member countries.

These relations can be further strengthened with regional connectivity projects. In this regard the Minister highlighted CPEC as a great example of connectivity, the statement said.

The Foreign Minister, referring to the last 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad in 2017 with the theme of Connectivity for Regional Prosperity underscored Pakistan's priority for energy connectivity.

He referred to the fact that some countries in the ECO region were energy deficient while others were energy surplus. There was thus a greater need to initiate energy projects, it added.

The statement said Mr Qureshi also referred to energy projects in which Pakistan was already participating.

In order to strengthen trade ties. The Foreign Minister supported revisiting the ECO trade agreement, which was aimed at promoting trade liberalization within the ECO region.

He also supported strengthening ECO Transit Trade Framework Agreement, which would enable the region to function as a bridge between the North and the South, Europe and Asia, the statement added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi informed the meeting that out of Pakistan's pledge of US$ 5 million to the ECO fund for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, an amount of US$ 2 million had already been paid to the ECO.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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