Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Thursday agreed to further strengthen their bilateral relations through strategic partnership and enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, economy, culture, tourism and connectivity for mutual benefit. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev after holding wide ranging bilateral talks, signed the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan with focus of increased cooperation in the areas of trade and economy. The leaders of the two countries exchanged views on the current status of bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen their multifaceted ties in political, trade and economic, energy, communication, science and technology, education and cultural spheres. The two leaders also exchanged views on issues of international and regional significance including the situation related to COVID-19 and agreed to build further cooperation in this regard. Reaffirming their commitment to strengthening fraternal ties, based on religious, cultural and historical commonalities, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the continued progress in bilateral relations and announced the establishment of a strategic partnership for mutual benefit of the two countries and nations. Noting that Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1991, the leaders congratulated each other on approaching the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two brotherly countries and agreed to celebrate it in a befitting manner. The leaders agreed to expand multifaceted bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and stressed the importance of closer coordination based on coinciding positions in the international arena. To this end, the leaders decided to use the existing political and economic mechanisms between the two countries, including consultations between Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The leaders expressed satisfaction with the growing pace of inter-parliamentary cooperation and agreed on the regular exchange of parliamentary delegations to further deepen bilateral ties. The Pakistan side highly appreciated the results of the visit of the parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Islamabad in June 2021 to attend the 2nd meeting of ECO Parliamentary Assembly. The Uzbek side confirmed the invitation to the Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Mr. S. Sanjrani to pay a visit to Uzbekistan. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of structured engagement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan under the five pillars of Pakistan’s “Vision Central Asia” policy i.e political, trade and investment, energy and connectivity, security and defence, and people-to-people contacts. The Prime Minister also outlined his vision of “Naya” Pakistan embedded in values of social justice, education for all, peace, prosperity and economic development of the people. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral cooperation within the framework of international organizations and reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting each other in the UN, SCO, OIC, ECO and other international and regional forums on issues of mutual interest.