Pakistan and Djibouti on Wednesday reiterated their desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the areas of commerce, culture and defence. This was discussed at a meeting between President Dr Arif Alvi and the visiting Djibouti parliamentary delegation, led by President of the National Parliament of Djibouti and acting Chairman of the African Union Parliament Mohamed Ali Houmed, here at the Presidency. While welcoming the delegation, the president said that Pakistan and Djibouti enjoyed excellent relations and Pakistan wanted to further improve defence and economic ties with Djibouti for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly countries. He appreciated the visit of Parliamentary delegation and expressed the hope it would further strengthen the existing foundation of strong bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that Pakistan highly valued its ties with Djibouti and had decided to open its embassy there and resident diplomatic missions in other African countries. The president sought the support of the Government of Djibouti to expeditiously process and clear Pakistani goods at Djibouti port meant for Ethiopia and other destinations in the Horn of Africa. He also highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed by India against the Muslim population in the Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The president emphasized the need for a unified call from international community to put pressure on India to stop human rights violations and grant Kashmiris their right to self-determination as promised under the UN Security Council resolutions. The president of National Parliament of Djibouti underscored the need for expanding bilateral cooperation in every sphere, including culture, trade and defence. He said that Gwadar and Djibouti ports would help boost trade between the two brotherly countries. Both sides emphasized the need for parliamentary, cultural and defence exchanges which would help in bringing the two countries further closer. Meanwhile, Mohamed Ali Houmed, accompanied by a Parliamentary delegation, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Prime Minister warmly welcomed the visiting delegation and noted that the bonds of common faith and values as well as convergence of views on regional and international matters bind the two brotherly nations. The Prime Minister underlined the salience of Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” policy which aims at forging closer ties with the Continent by expanding Pakistan’s diplomatic footprint and deepening economic engagement. The Prime Minister further underlined that Pakistan would soon be establishing its resident diplomatic Mission in Djibouti. Both sides affirmed the shared desire to broaden bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. The Prime Minister and the visiting delegation also exchanged views on the importance of peace and security in neighbouring regional context of both Pakistan and Djibouti. President National Assembly of Djibouti appreciated Pakistan’s historical support and expressed the hope that the visit of parliamentary delegation would help in further consolidating Djibouti-Pakistan relations.