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  • Mar 7th, 2005
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Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Sunday agreed to intensify their co-operation in the fight against terrorism, and vowed to enhance their bilateral trade and economic co-operation. President General Pervez Musharraf and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov told a news conferences after two hours talks that the two countries will work jointly to stamp out the menace of terrorism, affecting both. The two leaders also signed a statement to this effect. The Pakistan and Uzbekistan leaders also oversaw the signing of an agreement on augmenting ties in the field of culture.

Musharraf said both Pakistan and Uzbekistan have been victims to terrorism, and reiterated Pakistan's firm resolve not to allow any one to use its soil for terrorist activities against other countries.

"Pakistan will not allow use of its soil for activities against the interests of Uzbekistan", said Musharraf, adding the two countries should have an extradition treaty for extradition of terrorists.

He said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestation.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov, in his remarks, appreciated Pakistan's efforts against the menace of terrorism. He said the entire international community owes a responsibility to combat the challenge of international terrorism.

President Islam Karimov also expressed praise for President Musharraf's emphasis on 'Enlightened Moderation.'

In the talks, President Musharraf briefed the host leader about Pakistan's position on important national, international, and regional issues, including UN reforms.

He also briefed him on Pakistan-India dialogue process for resolving all outstanding disputes.

Musharraf underscored that Pakistan is against creation of centres of privilege at the UNSC as this will go against the principles of sovereign equality of nations.

On economic co-operation, President Musharraf expressed the hope that this will lead to a new era of trade and economic co-operation between the two countries.

The two leaders agreed on activating the joint ministerial commission to boost their bilateral trade and economic ties.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said his country views Pakistan's central geo-strategic location as very significant.

He said Uzbekistan looks forward to having access to world markets through Pakistani sea ports.

"We see Pakistani ports - Karachi and Gawadar - as very important. A day will come when we will reach the world markets through Pakistan", Karimov said.

He said with peace and stability gaining strength in Afghanistan, the prospects of Central Asian trade through Pakistan look bright.

Earlier, Pakistani and Uzbek presidents had one on one meeting which lasted over an hour. Later, the delegations of both sides joined the talks.

Pakistani delegation included Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Education Minister Lieutenant General Javed Ashraf Qazi (Retd) and Minister of State for Information Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli.

President Musharraf also visited the monument of Uzbekistan's national poet Alisher Navoi. He laid a wreath at the monument and observed silence as a mark of respect.

The president also visited the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, which depicted various phases of the country's history.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2005

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