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AKIPRESS.COM - Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain Sunday invited Tajikistan to join the trade route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying Pakistan offers excellent opportunities to Tajikistan for its imports and exports through the Gwadar port in Balochistan province, according to a statement from the President House in Islamabad, Xinhua reports.
Hussain was talking to his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan's capital, on the sidelines of 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games during which they discussed cooperation in the energy sector, regional connectivity and trade, the statement said.
The Pakistani president hoped that the legal process for Tajikistan's entry into Quadrilateral Traffic-in-Transit Agreement (QTTA) would provide the Central Asian country a legal framework to access Pakistani seaports through CPEC.
The QTTA is a transit trade deal between China, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Hussain said Pakistan attached great priority to the timely completion of the Central Asia South Asia energy project commonly known as CASA-1000 by 2018 and looked forward to importing electricity from Tajikistan.
The CASA-1000 would transit excess Kyrgyzstan's and Kazakhstan's electricity to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with the Central Asian countries particularly Tajikistan as the two countries enjoyed fraternal ties, shared common goals of peace and prosperity for their peoples and the region as a whole," Hussain said.
He stressed the need to finalize the bilateral transit trade agreement, which he said would create a win-win situation by creating road links between Pakistan and Tajikistan.
He said resumption of direct air link between the two countries in May 2016 was a big step forward and stressed the need for resumption of flights by Tajikistan's Somon Air which had suspended within three months of its launch.
President Rahmon agreed to give directive to his government for resumption of Somon Air flights to Pakistan, the statement said.