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Al-Sabah visit to prove a turning point in Pak-Kuwait relations: PM Aziz

18 June, 2006

Al-Sabah visit to prove a turning point in Pak-Kuwait relations: PM Shaukat Aziz
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ISLAMABAD: The first-ever visit of The Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabber Al-Sabah, to Pakistan will prove to be a turning point in relations between the two brotherly Muslim countries, said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz here Saturday.

"We are delighted with the historic and an imperative visit of H.H. the Amir of Kuwait and we are looking forward to warmly welcome a great world leader," said Prime Minister Aziz in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

As to the government and people’s attitude towards the visit, He said "The people of Pakistan look toward Kuwait as their brother and friend," he said, adding, "The Amir is coming to his own home." Recalling his meeting with His Highness on the sad demise of H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister said that he saw a man of courage. "He is a very well-known figure and a man with great vision. Kuwait will definitely further prosper under his leadership," the Premier added.

Premier Aziz said that the visit is very important as the Amir is coming here after touring other countries of the region and exploring vast avenues of trade and investment.

He said Pakistan is one of the largest importer of Kuwaiti oil and has made impressive economic development during President Musharraf’s regime.

"Our country is full of opportunities, potential and pride and offers conducive environment for investment," said Aziz while extending invitation to Kuwaiti investors and businessmen to invest in various sectors in Pakistan.

The Premier emphasized on the energy sector specifically saying energy needs of Pakistan, a developing nation, are growing and that to meet this challenge, the state is entering into new corridors of energy cooperation.

During his two-day stay, the Amir will be meeting with the Prime Minister, the President, Speakers and members of both the Lower and Upper Houses of the Parliament. He would be heading a very high-level delegation, comprising Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry and 17 leading businessmen and trade officials.

"A whole gamut of bilateral as well as regional and international issues will be discussed with the Amir", said the Prime Minister. "Matters related to Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq and issues concerning the Muslim Ummah would also come under discussion", he added.

He said a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) would be signed to enhance cooperation in political, cultural, trade, economic, defense, investment, tourism, and commerce sectors.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan intends to begin either co-production or joint-production with Kuwait in the security and defense sector.

He said Pakistan is manufacturing jet fighters, tankers, and other equipment, adding that a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are looking toward Pakistan for its defense production.

"We want Kuwait, to buy defense equipment from us," said Premier Aziz.

He offered Kuwaiti businessmen and investors to invest in the fields of tourism, construction and real estate development, financial services, Islamic investment and banking, IT and telecom, aviation services, commerce and trade, food packing and processing, apparel and footwear, textiles, pharmaceuticals, engineering and consumers and industrial electronics.

The Premier said there are many Kuwaiti Companies, including Pak-Kuwait Investment Company, Al-Mezan Bank and Arabian Sea Enterprises (Sheraton Hotel, Karachi), making huge profits in Pakistan. "We offer win-win situation for both of us," said Prime Minister Aziz.

He said Pakistan has stood side-by-side with its brotherly Muslim country, Kuwait, in every hour of need and Kuwait has enthusiastically reciprocated this stance.

"Thousands of Pakistani troops helped in liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation of 1990 through the UN platform and thousands of workers later contributed to its reconstruction and development", he added.

The Premier expressed appreciation for Kuwaiti aid and assistance following the devastating October 8, 2005 earthquake that killed and wounded over 70,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others. "This is a sign of the close bond between the two nations and we are deeply thankful to Kuwait for its unmatchable support at this critical juncture", said Prime Minister Aziz.


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