ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and President of Indonesia Joko Widodo on Saturday held in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and a wide range of international and regional issues of shared interest.

After the talks, the two leaders reaffirmed that the people of Pakistan and Indonesia shared deep political, cultural, religious ties and respect for democratic values. Being the largest countries in the Islamic world, the two stood together for their progress, prosperity, stability, security and territorial integrity. Besides, agreeing to strengthen their defense and security cooperation, the two leaders also agreed to intensify counter-terrorism cooperation.

Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts. The two leaders agreed that there was a need to improve the trade imbalance.

The two sides acknowledged that there was considerable untapped potential to expand trade, taking advantage of the PTA.

The two sides agreed to further increase tariff lines under the existing mechanism of Preferential Trade Agreement between the two countries.

There was also unanimity of views to work together for gradually taking PTA to the level of Free Trade Agreement.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of cooperation at the multilateral forums.

Indonesia reiterated its support for Pakistan’s bid for full dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Indonesia also assured Pakistan to support its bid for Indian-Ocean Rim Association.

Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity and development including through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Abbasi underscored that CPEC and other mega infrastructural projects offer vast opportunities. President Widodo welcomed this initiative.

Widodo also welcomed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and other “mega infrastructural projects” that would “offer vast opportunities” and “enhance regional connectivity”.

About regional situation, Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo about Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

He also appreciated Indonesia’s desire to assist Afghanistan in peace and reconciliation which was vital for regional security.

He briefed President Widodo on the steps taken by Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He highlighted the grave human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

After their talks, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo attended a signing ceremony of MoUs/agreement between the two countries.

The MoUs/agreement signed, include an MoU on import of LNG and petroleum products from Indonesia, Additional Protocol to Preferential Trade Agreement for 20 new tariff lines, MoU on Trade facilitation and MoU between Foreign Service Academy and Centre of Training and Education Indonesia.

The two leaders agreed to intensify counter-terrorism cooperation. The two sides also agreed to support each other in building their respective anti-terrorism capabilities. Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts.

PM Abbasi also urged Widodo to allow a terminally ill Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani prisoner being held by Indonesia, to return to his home country on humanitarian grounds, a Foreign Office (FO) press said.