ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his strong desire to further enhance bilateral relations with Bahrain, and stressed the need for the business community of both the countries to work jointly to further cement economic and trade relations.

The prime minister was talking to Lt Gen Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, commander of the National Guard of Bahrain and brother of the King of Bahrain who called on him on Tuesday at the PM House.

Al-Khalifa said that the proposed up-gradation of the Joint Economic Council to Joint Ministerial Commission was a positive development to boost bilateral ties.  He said that the upcoming visit of the Pakistani naval chief to Bahrain in the third week of January 2017 would be important for enhancing bilateral naval cooperation.

Welcoming the delegation on visit to Pakistan, the prime minister said that Pakistan considered Kingdom of Bahrain a close friend and a trusted partner.

“Our bilateral relations are founded on shared history, cultural linkages and strong people-to-people contacts,” the prime minister stated.

The commander National Guard of Bahrain thanked the prime minister for the warm welcome and conveyed good wishes from the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

He said that Bahrain and Pakistan were brotherly countries and the bilateral relations between the two countries would further enhance by pursuing close economic and trade relations.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to King Hamad for his generous gift of King Hamad Nursing University to Pakistan. I also thank you for coming to Pakistan to lay the foundation stone of this project,” said the prime minister.

He further said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Bahrain and the visit of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in March 2014 was a landmark visit, which opened new avenues of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The prime minister said that Pakistani diaspora in Bahrain acted as a human bridge between the two brotherly countries and had been playing an important role in the development and prosperity of both Pakistan and Bahrain.