Australian FM meets Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop discussed on Thursday bilateral matters, including ways to enhance cooperation in various fields.
Speaking earlier today, the premier said Pakistan and Australia enjoyed close and cooperative relations in all fields and wished to strengthen them in coming years.
“Pakistan would be pleased to cooperate with Australia in countering terrorism, drug trafficking, trans-national crime, human smuggling and organized crime,” the premier said, to which Bishop extended her gratitude.
She informed PM Nawaz that this was her first visit to Pakistan after assuming the role of foreign minister, during which she held several useful meetings.
She expressed appreciation for the government’s reform agenda which resulted in economic growth and increased job opportunities across the country.
The prime minister revealed that all economic indicators were quite encouraging.
“Our growth rate is increasing gradually, which we expect to go further up in the coming years. Foreign exchange reserves have almost doubled during the tenure of this government. Stock market is one of the best ones in Asia, the industry is growing and the agriculture sector is looking up with good wheat and cotton crop,” he said.
He further added that Pakistan’s economy had suffered badly at the hands of terrorism and commented on the several operations which were launched to eradicate terrorism from the country.
PM Nawaz made mention of the success of the operation which have almost eliminated several terrorism networks, hideouts and sanctuaries. He ascertained that efforts would continue until the entire network of terrorists was eliminated from the country.
Commenting on the business communities of both countries, Bishop said there was lot of potential that was yet to be uncovered, especially among the exchange of high-level delegations.
The support and cooperation of the Australian government was welcomed widely by the PM, with special appreciation for their support with Temporarily Displaced Persons.
The prime minister reiterated that the energy crisis would come to an end during the tenure of his government and said that urgent steps were being put into place to meet the energy shortage.
Pakistani efforts in extending cooperation to Australia in fields like counter-terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational crime, human trafficking and organised crime were appreciated by the foreign minister as she extended her gratitude to Pakistan’s government.
She further asserted that their government wished to strengthen relations in these fields, which the premier was pleased to offer.
With relations between Pakistan and India still strained, Bishop put forward hope that the initiatives taken would help improve relations between the two countries.
An invitation was extended to the prime minister to visit Australia with a business delegation with the aim of strengthening economic and trade ties further.
Matters pertaining to regional matters also came under discussion in the meeting, in which Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Tariq Fatemi and secretary of foreign affairs were in attendance.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Peter Heyward was also present during the meeting.
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