ISTANBUL: Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that Somalia was strategically important to Pakistan as its port cities could act as a gateway to Africa for potential trade via Gwadar.
The prime minister said this while talking to Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on the sidelines of the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being held in Istanbul, Turkey.
PM Abbasi underscored the need for exploring new avenues of bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Somalia, especially in the area of enhancing bilateral trade and connectivity linkages. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to contribute towards training and capacity building of the Somali security forces and other institutions.
President Mohamed thanked the prime minister for Pakistan’s invaluable contribution towards peace and development of Somalia. He lauded the role of Pakistani peacekeepers towards the stability of Somalia in the past and paid tribute to their sacrifices in the line of duty.
He also thanked Pakistan for providing education opportunities to thousands of Somali students, who had been playing a vital role towards the development of that country.
The two leaders reaffirmed the strong and abiding ties between the two brotherly countries and also exchanged views on issues of international and regional importance.