President Zardari, King Hamad agree to further bolster bilateral ties in diverse fields

BAHRAIN: President Asif Ali Zardari and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain on Wednesday agreed upon further promoting the existing Pakistan-Bahrain bilateral ties through enhanced economic interactions, promotion and facilitation of business community, providing mutual support to meet each another’s requirements, and taking advantage of the shared perceptions on a host of issues and work hand in hand for the stability and peace of the region. It was also decided to further bolster the existing interactions of the leadership of the two countries and to provide momentum to the bilateral equation which is based on the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation.

The two leaders during their meeting on Wednesday also decided to promote institutional cooperation between the two countries so as to meet mutual requirements in not only traditional areas of cooperation but also to explore new opportunities in economic, commercial and cultural fields.The meeting took place here at King’s Palace in Bahrain during President Zardari’s brief visit to Bahrain on the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.On arrival, President Zardari was received at the airport by the King himself. It was followed by a reception at the King’s place where King Hamad had hosted Iftar dinner for the visiting President.The dinner was followed by a detailed discussion of the leadership of the two countries with focus on bilateral ties and the situation in the region.

Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the visit was taking place on the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa which was conveyed through Commander National Guards of Bahrain Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa during his recent visit to Pakistan.He said that the two countries have traditionally been enjoying cordial and close relationship owing to their similarity of views on issues of regional and international importance and their close cultural affiliations besides their spirit of mutual cooperation.This visit, he said, would further strengthen the mutual relationship and would boost the bilateral cooperation in a number of areas of mutual interest.

Farhatullah Babar said that during the two leaders’ one on one meeting, President Zardari lauded the leadership of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and appreciated the socio-economic development witnessed under his able leadership.The President said that Pakistan greatly values its cordial equation with Bahrain and desires to further promote the existing level of mutual cooperation to the extent that could fully be a reflection of the real potential of the friendship of the two countries.The President said that the two countries need to forge a close multi-dimensional partnership encompassing trade, commercial, cultural, defence ties and other interactions for the mutual benefits of the people of the two countries and for promotion of socio-economic development.The President reiterated his offer to the Bahraini business community to benefit from the incentive-based business investment packages and rich human resource available in Pakistan.

The President said that Pakistani Government would provide all possible facilitation to the business community in their business ventures as there were a large number of sectors and investment areas open to the foreign businessmen.Farhatullah Babar said that other matters that came under discussion during the meeting included Pakistan’s ongoing fight against extremism and the regional situation with special reference to that of Middle East.King Hamad appreciated the valiant struggle of law enforcing agencies against the militants. He also lauded Pakistan’s efforts towards peace and stability of the region.

Farhatullah Babar said that talking about the present situation in the region the President said that Pakistan desired peace, security and stability in Bahrain and in the region of the Middle East.President Zardari said that Pakistan respected sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the states and adhered to the principles of non-intervention and non-interference.The President reiterated Pakistan’s keen desire for peace and stability of the region and said that Pakistan would continue to second all efforts that contribute towards peace and stability of the region.

He said that peace and stability was essential for the development and progress of the people of the region and any attempt to destabilise the system by force would negatively impact the regional situation.He said that Bahrain’s economic progress was largely due to political and social stability that it has enjoyed under the present leadership.The President said that Pakistan welcomed the steps being taken for reconciliation in Bahrain and commended the decision to promote dialogue between various segments of society.The President said that the Ummah was witnessing developments with far reaching consequences and there was a need to utilize our collective capabilities to bring stability and peace to Middle East and North Africa.

The President also lauded the social and economic progress made by Bahrain under the leadership of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and said that Pakistan wished continued prosperity and stability of Bahrain and its people.He said that Pakistan highly values its relations with the brotherly Muslim country Bahrain and that the presence of a sizeable Pakistani community living and working in Bahrain was a manifestation of close bilateral ties between the two countries.

He thanked the Bahraini King for the measures taken to ensure security and well being of the Pakistani community in Bahrain.The President noted with appreciation that the government and the people of Bahrain have always extended support to Pakistan in every hour of need including the deadly 2005 earthquake and also during the floods in Pakistan.The Bahraini King expressed the hope that the existing close cooperation between the two countries would continue to grow. Soon after the talks the President left for Islamabad. – APP