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Oman to provide more funds for Pakistani Gwadar port

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, Apr 3 (UNI) Oman will provide more funds for development of the under-construction Gwadar port in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province as the project remains one of the government's priorities, Omanese Foreign Minister Yousaf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah said today.

''We have made valuable funding to contribute to the project,'' he told reporters after talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid M Kasuri.

Oman had some time ago committed 100 million US dollars for the second Pakistani port after Karachi, being constructed with Chinese assistance, out of which 20 million dollars have already been spent.

The Omanese Minister said that his government was going to commit the remaining 80 million dollars for various projects in Gwadar including the airport facility.Abdullah said that Gwadar Port did not pose any challenge to Omani port.

Oman has its own huge industrial port at Soha and the Minister hoped that both ports would be complementing each other.

"We are not worried about that and we try to work together.Both ports will work for the benefit of both nations,"he added.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Foreign Minister Kasuri said Oman has been invited to consider building storage and warehouse facilities in Gwadar which is emerging as a key port, and make use of Pakistan's defence production capabilities and facilities.

Kasuri described Oman as a valuable partner of Pakistan and said relations between the two countries have remained close and cordial.

"it is our fifth neighbour that shares maritime boundaries with Pakistan, and has cultural links with Balochistan," the Minister added.

On the bilateral front, both the countries agreed to further enhance cooperation and expand relations in diverse areas, including economic, trade, investments, education and defence.

Foreign Minister Kasuri noted with satisfaction that Gulf Air flights to Islamabad have commenced which would encourage people-to-people contacts and would facilitate further cementing of trade ties between the two countries.

The two sides also exchanged views on key regional and international issues of concern to their mutual concern, including the W Asia peace process and formation of new Palestinian government, the continuing violence in Iraq, Iran's nuclear issue, terrorism and the challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah.

On Iran's nuclear stand off with the US on the former's nuclear issue, both Pakistan and Oman reiterated their positions, calling for a peaceful settlement of the controversy.

"On Irans nuclear issue, Pakistan has maintained that it needed to be resolved through amicable and peaceful means," Foreign Minister Kasuri said.

Kasuri reiterated Pakistans stand that opposes any "coercive measures" against Iran.

Omanese Minister Abdullah said his country was working with Iran and "friends in the West" to try to avoid any possible crisis.

The UN Security Council last week set a 30-day deadline for Iran to suspend all its uranium enrichment.Abdullah said the matter was complicated but insisted that "there are ways, if time is given, to reach an amicable solution".

Kasuri also briefed his Omanese counterpart on the ongoing composite dialogue with India, saying that Pakistan hopes that this dialogue leads to the resolution of all outstanding issues with India, including the Kashmir dispute.

UNI SHR AD VP0050

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