Pakistan and Uzbekistan have inked a strategic partnership agreement, pledging to increase the volume of bilateral trade by five times. According to reports, the agreement was signed on Friday by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who jointly hosted a bilateral business forum on regional connectivity.

With this agreement, they vowed to expand multi-faceted bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and stressed the need for the resolution of the Afghanistan conflict through an internal political process necessary for the peace and progress of the entire region.

Several Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreements totaling USD 500 million have been signed to strengthen cooperation in diverse areas including transit trade and simplification of visa procedures for businessmen and tourists.

Addressing the business forum, PM Khan expressed hope that Pakistan’s connectivity (through rail, road and aviation) with Uzbekistan in trade and bilateral areas will open new avenues of prosperity in the region. He declared that countries including Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Turkey would “try to help facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan”, adding that “we, as neighbors of Afghanistan, are concerned that the people of Afghanistan have been suffering for the past 40 years.” are victims, he said, referring to the Uzbek leader.

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