Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday announced his country’s decision to join the Ashgabat agreement and the Lapis Lazuli Corridor.
“I would like to take this historic opportunity to announce our agreement in principle to join the Ashgabat Agreement as well as the Lapis Lazuli Corridor,” the Dawn quoted Sharif as saying.
Sharif, who was addressing a two-day Global Sustainable Transport Conference in the Turkmenistan capital, said that he was positive about the agreement, adding it will not only benefit Pakistan but also the entire Central Asian and South Asian region and beyond.
Asserting that peaceful neighbourhood is a key pillar of Pakistan’s policy, Sharif said that without regional peace and stability “we will not be able to reap the benefits of regional connectivity and integration”.
He said that he has asked his relevant government ministers to approach the depository countries for an early start of negotiations in this regard through integration of economies, markets and, more importantly cultures, which provide the doorway for peaceful co-existence.
He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the most promising element of Beijing’s one-belt one-road initiative, which he called as the game changer that aims to create the world’s largest platform to integrate development of various regions in the Eurasian land mass.
The Ashgabat agreement seeks to create an international transport and transit corridor between Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The objective of this agreement is to facilitate the transport of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
The Lapis Lazuli Corridor is an agreement between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey seeking to foster transit and trade cooperation by reducing barriers facing transit trade.