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Pakistan offers to broker Syria peace

19 March, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday that the drive for peace in Syria must be led and owned by the Syrian people and offered Pakistan's readiness to play its role in finding a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis.

The president made the offer during a one-on-one meeting with Egyptian President Dr Mohamed Morsi, who arrived in the country on a one-day visit, followed by delegation level talks at the Presidency. President Zardari urged for concerted steps to take the existing Pak-Egyptian relationship to new heights with a focus on trade and investment ties.

President Zardari said that Pakistan and Egypt should work together closely for the common good of the Ummah and for peace in the region. He urged for working together to end the bloodshed in Syria and to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. President Zardari said, "Pakistan believes that Syria's territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected." He said that any outside interference would only complicate a complex situation and will have serious consequences for the neighbouring countries.

Zardari said the government and the people of Pakistan highly valued their relations with their Egyptian brethren and they were eager to translate the full potential of this relationship for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Briefing about the two rounds of talks, spokesperson to the president Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues and the situation in the Middle East.

While warmly welcoming Dr Morsi on his maiden visit to Pakistan, President Zardari congratulated him on the success of peaceful struggle for democratic change in Egypt and lauded his efforts for democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights in Egypt. The president wished every success to the government and people of Egypt in realising the dream of a free, democratic and prosperous Egypt in a peaceful region and peaceful world.

He said that Pakistan and Egypt enjoy traditional friendly relations which are rooted in common faith and cultural affinities. "As an important Islamic country Pakistan considers Egypt an important player in the region as well as in the Islamic world," the president said. He said that Pakistan desired to expand, diversify and further strengthen its relations with Egypt in all fields of bilateral relations. President Morsi expressed his deep desire to cultivate close relations with Pakistan and stated that both countries were two pillars of the Islamic world and have an important role to play in the Ummah as well as in the region.

The spokesperson to the president said that the two leaders agreed to hold bilateral summit on biennial basis alternatively in Pakistan and Egypt. He said President Zardari expressed confidence that the mechanism would not only boost the bilateral relations but would also give two countries an opportunity to co-ordinate their positions on important regional and international developments.

The two leaders also agreed to the holding of the 4th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in Islamabad later this year. They called for increased people-to-people contacts which they believed was extremely important in cementing the bonds of friendship between the two countries. Discussing bilateral relations, the two leaders expressed satisfaction on the current state of bilateral ties and urged the need to further expedite efforts to fully realize the true trade potential.

The two presidents also witnessed the signing of five memorandums of understanding and one executive programme for further promoting cooperation between the two countries in the fields of postal services, merchant shipping, investment, media cooperation, science and technology and small and medium enterprises development.


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