Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday had a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Norov Vladimir Imamovich of Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Foreign Ministers (SCO-CFM) being held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The two sides exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including political, trade, economic, security, defence, and connectivity, a press release issued here by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral contacts in the last few years and stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum through consolidating the strategic partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. He underscored the urgent need to operationalize the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA) for boosting trade and transit between the two countries. The Foreign Minister underlined the importance of direct air connectivity to enhance business and people-to-people links. He also appreciated progress on joint media production on the common heritage and life of Mughal Emperor Zaheer-ud-Din Babur. The Foreign Minister re-affirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to timely completion of Trans-Afghan railway project and expressed pleasure at commencement of joint field expedition in Afghanistan in this context. He urged the need to fully utilize the potential of Pakistan’s seaports of Gwadar and Karachi by advancing the connectivity agenda. The two leaders expressed satisfaction on the existing cooperation at regional and international fora, particularly at the United Nations (UN), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and SCO. Uzbekistan is currently the chairman of ECO and SCO for the year 2022. Speaking on regional and international issues, the Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s continued support for sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan and its benefits for the region and beyond. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday held a bilateral meeting with his Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin on the sidelines of the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to further enhance bilateral trade, promote regional connectivity, and strengthen people-to-people links between the two countries. The foreign minister laid emphasis on reinvigorating bilateral economic relations by boosting trade and investment through cooperation in diverse areas and frequent exchange of business, a press release issued here by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. He appreciated the close cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral fora including at SCO and exchanged views on situation in Afghanistan. The foreign minister underlined Pakistan’s efforts for relief efforts and lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and underscored the need for urgent international humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people. He reiterated Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, united, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.