Associated Press of Pakistan | 23.11.2011
President Zardari, King Abdullah for early conclusion of Pak-Jordan FTA
DEAD SEA, JORDAN, Oct 22 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari and King Abdullah of Jordan on Saturday called for an early conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and holding of the second round of talks soon for this purpose. The two leaders, who met here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, discussed bilateral relations as well as regional situation. Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the President also called for an early holding of the 9th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission which, he said, was a useful forum for enhancing relations in various fields.
The President thanked the Jordanian Monarch for Jordan’s support to Pakistan’s candidature for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council to which Pakistan was elected Friday as well as for its relief assistance to the flood victims in Sindh and indeed for supporting Pakistan in times of need.
The President said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Jordan and highlighted the great potential to further deepen the bilateral ties, particularly in the economic field.
President Zardari said the ten thousand strong Pakistani community further cemented the relations between the two countries and highlighted the issues of the Pakistani farmers in Jordan, Farhatullah Babar said.
The President also invited King Abdullah and Queen Rania to visit Pakistan.
About the regional situation, the President said that Pakistan always supported the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people. The President recalled the fundamental elements of the policy as total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, restitution of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including their right to return to Palestine and establishment of an independent homeland for Palestinians with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital President Zardari said that Pakistan supported the peace for land offer, made by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for achieving peace in the region.
About situation in the Middle East, the President said that Pakistan had taken a principled position on the developments in North Africa, Middle East and the Gulf. This position was based on the premise that the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the states should be respected and all should adhere to the principle of non-intervention and non-interference, he said and added that Pakistan was concerned over tendencies towards division and divisiveness.
Situation in the region around Pakistan was also discussed.
Emphasizing Pakistan’s interest in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, the President said that Pakistan was keen on the success of the Istanbul Regional Conference early next month and also the Bonn Conference in December this year.
Welcoming President Zardari to Jordan the monarch felicitated Pakistan on winning the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council. King Abdullah of Jordan also highlighted the close ties between the two countries and agreed that there was need to further strengthen these ties particularly in the economic field. King Abdullah said that Jordan valued the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan, both materially and physically in fighting the militancy.
Pakistan’s Ambassador Atiya Mahmood was also present in the meeting.
The President also had a separate meeting with Prof Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Talking to Schwab, the President said that Pakistan wanted partnership with WEF in projecting Pakistan’s strengths as a destination for investments and as a country that offered many opportunities for corporate interests. He asked the WEF Chairman to convey this message to the participants of the Forum and invite them to invest in Pakistan, Farhatullah Babar said.