ISLAMABAD - Terming the visit of King of Bahrain successful, Foreign Minister of Bahrain Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa said Thursday that Pakistan being an influential Muslim country can play a role in balancing out bilateral ties between Bahrain and Iran.
“Since Pakistan is an influential country, we believe it can play a key role in improving bilateral ties between Iran and Gulf countries, including Bahrain,” Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa told a press conference on conclusion of three-day official visit of King of Bahrain.
He said apart from bilateral relations, leadership of the two countries has discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
To a question about tension between Bahrain and Iran, Bahraini foreign minister said that Iran has failed over the past three years in taking agreed steps to mend ties with Bahrain.
About situation in Syria, he said that Bahrain desires political solution to the dispute and also wants Pakistan to support peaceful resolution of the Syrian crises in line with Geneva process.
He said his country wanted to further promote relations with Pakistan in diverse fields, including defence and security, adding that several agreements have been signed during the current visit to further augment these relations in the areas of trade, economy, energy, food security, training of manpower etc.
Meanwhile a joint statement issued by the Foreign Office on the conclusion of the visit of King of Bahrain said that both the countries have agreed to broaden bilateral engagement in diverse fields.
It said that there was agreement on further enhancing high-level political exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economic, trade, investment, defence, security and people-to-people linkages.
The Bahraini King appreciated the role and contribution of the Pakistani community in the progress and economic development of Bahrain. The Pakistani leadership expressed the hope that Bahrain will continue to employ more Pakistanis in different sectors of their mainstream economy.
The two sides agreed to further broaden and deepen the bilateral engagement in diverse fields of mutual interest. There was agreement on further enhancing high-level political exchanges, cooperation in the fields of economic, trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people linkages.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the status of bilateral relations and expressed the hope that such exchanges would be further intensified to give impetus to the existing cordial ties.
The two sides also stressed the importance of regular consultations through the existing institutional mechanisms and welcomed the setting up of Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission.
King of Bahrain also extended his invitation to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to visit Bahrain at a mutually convenient time, which was gladly accepted.
The two sides signed eight agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs), including MoU on Establishment of Joint Ministerial Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments, MoU on Cooperation between Ministries of Interior, MoU on Cooperation in the fields of Water and Power, MoU on Cooperation in Food Security, in Particular Rice, Air Services Agreement, MoU in the areas of Labour and Occupational Training, MoU between Economic Development Board of Bahrain and Board of Investment.
The two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the security situation in West Asia and South Asia.
Both sides also reiterated the importance of peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue, be they regional or international.
The two sides acknowledged the close relations between Pakistan and the GCC countries and reiterated their commitment to further strengthen cooperation, including the finalization of the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement.
The King thanked the President and Prime Minister for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation.
He extended his invitation to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to visit Bahrain at a mutually convenient time, which was gladly accepted.