Thursday, 8 January 2015

Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Press Statement

Office of the Spokesperson
Press Release   
8th Jan'2015 - Islamabad

News Edited BY:     KANWAL ABIDI 

1.                 At the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, paid an official visit to Bahrain on 7-8 January 2015. The Prime Minister was accompanied byBegum Kalsoom Nawaz and a high-level delegation.

2.                 His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, very warmly welcomed H.E. the Prime Minister of Pakistan on arrival at the airport.

3.                 His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received H.E. the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, at Sakhir Palace. His Majesty the King conferred on the Prime Minister Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa First Class Medal in recognition of his contribution towards further strengthening relationship between the two countries. His Majesty the King also hosted a banquet in honour of the Prime Minister.

4.                 The Prime Ministers of the two countries held high-level talks. His Royal Highness the Prime Minister hosted luncheon in honour of the Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation.

5.                 The following documents were signed during the visit:
1)     Agreement on exemption from Short Stay Visa for Diplomatic and Special Passport holders (Bahrain) and Diplomatic and Official Passport holders (Pakistan)
2)     MOU on Twinning of Islamabad, Capital of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Manama, Capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3)     MOU in the Field of Education and Higher Education
4)     MOU between the University of Bahrain and Quaid-i-Azam University
5)     MOU on Cooperation in the field of Culture and Arts
6)     MOU on Co-operation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises development

During the ceremony, the Prime Minister of Pakistan handed over to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister of Bahrain the Instrument of Ratification (IoR) of the Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments.

6.                 In light of the existing close bilateral ties between the two countries, wide-ranging discussions were held in a sincere, friendly and candid atmosphere. The discussions were focused on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest to further broaden and deepen bilateral engagement in all mutually beneficial fields. The leaders underscored the importance of this approach to provide impetus for promoting political and economic relations, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

7.                 The two sides expressed their satisfaction at the regular exchange of high- level visits during therecent years and recalled the substantive outcome of the successful State Visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 18-20 March 2014, and agreed to follow up on the implementation of the agreements and the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed during the visit.

8.                 Bahrain and Pakistan agreed on the need to encourage the private sector to participate in the establishment of a Pakistan Energy Fund. The Prime Minister of Pakistan conveyed deep appreciation on behalf of the people of Pakistan for the Royal gesture to establish King Hamad University Hospital in Pakistan.

9.                 Both sides underscored the importance of continuing regular consultations through the existing institutional mechanisms and agreed to hold the inaugural meeting ofthe Bahrain-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission in Islamabad in 2015.

10.             Recognising the need to hold regular Foreign Ministry Consultations, both sides decided that the firstround of consultations would be held in 2015, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Consultations signed between the two Foreign Ministers on 20 December 2006.

11.             The two sides stressed the importance of increasing defense and security cooperation between the two countries, and reiterated their desire to hold security dialogue annually between the two countries. Theydecided to increase sharing of information, intelligence and assessments.

12.             Both sides denounced terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen their cooperation, at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, in combating terrorism andfinancing of terrorism. Pakistan reaffirmed its support for measures taken by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to combat terrorism and maintain security and stability.

13.             The leaders of Bahrain reiterated strong condemnation of the horrible terrorist attack, which targeted a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, and claimed the lives of 145 innocent school children and teachers. Bahrain affirmed full support to Pakistan in confronting and defeating terrorist groups, and offered condolences to the Government and the people of Pakistan and to the relatives of the victims of this barbaric incident, emphasising that such acts are alien to all religions and in total contradiction to human values. The Prime Minister of Pakistan thanked the Bahraini leadership for the expression of sympathy and solidarity on behalf of the people of Pakistan.

14.             The Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan congratulated the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for successful holding of free and fair general elections on 22 and 29 November 2014; stressing that the participation of the people of Bahrain in large numbers demonstrated their faith in the political system  and confidence in the leadership of Bahrain.

15.             Expressing satisfaction over improving economic cooperation between the two brotherly countries, both sides recognized the potential for greater trade and commercial exchanges, and agreed to take all steps necessary to provide a greater impetus to bilateral trade turnover.

16.             Realising the significant role played by investors, both sides agreed to provide favourable environment for investors from both countries and emphasised the need for regular and timely exchange of information on available investment opportunities. Recognizing the enormous growth potential of their economies, Pakistan side encouraged Bahraini investors to take advantage of favourable environment for investment and to consider investing in areas of high rate of return in Pakistan and shared information about their infrastructure development plans in near future. The Pakistani side recognized Bahrain as an ideal gateway to the GCC markets.

17.             Furthermore, the leaders agreed on enhancing cooperation in the fields of energy, youth and sports,advancement of women, social works and human resource development, agriculture, marine resources,cattle breeding, poultry and fish-farming.

18.             Alongside extensive discussions on bilateral relations, views were exchanged on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the situation in the Middle East and the situation in West Asia and South Asia. The leaders agreed on the importance of peaceful resolution of all issues, regional as well as global, through dialogue.

19.             Bahrain and Pakistan called upon the international community to work towards reaching a peaceful solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative. The two sides also reaffirmed their determination to provide the necessary support to reach a solution that leads to the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Shareef as its capital, and solve all final status issues, which will lead to regional peace and security. They reiterated that Israeli settlements on the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not only illegal under international law but also undermine prospects for achieving comprehensive long-standing peace.

20.             Acknowledging the immense existing commercial potential between Pakistan and the GCC countries, Bahrain reiterated its support and commitment to further strengthen cooperation, through earlyfinalization of the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement.

21.             His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,thanked His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation. The Prime Minister of Pakistan extended invitations to His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to visit the Islamic Republic of Pakistanat their earliest convenience, which were gladly accepted.

08 January 2015