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Pakistan, UAE sign MoU for alternative energy projects

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ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates is to develop renewable energy projects in Pakistan, with Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif urging more companies to tap the country’s potential in alternative energy.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Baz and Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Technology.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Rashid Mahmoud Rangriar, Minister of Electricity, and Sherif Al Alama, UAE Undersecretary for Energy and Infrastructure.

Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister said the alternative energy project is an opportunity for bilateral cooperation and his government plans to produce 10,000 megawatts of solar energy.

The prime minister said his government was ready to brief UAE companies in detail on Pakistan’s potential and the government’s policy on alternative energy.

He vowed to “go all out to convert the memorandum of understanding into an agreement and implement it quickly”.

The Prime Minister also thanked the UAE for inviting Pakistan to participate in the 28th COP to be held in the UAE at the end of this year.

He particularly thanked UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his valuable and timely support to Pakistan, especially during the delay in reaching an agreement with the IMF.

Cooperation between the UAE, China and Saudi Arabia played a key role in securing the IMF agreement.

Al-Jabir, UAE Minister of Energy, said in his speech that the two countries have a good relationship and partnership, and the UAE has always emphasized the importance of cooperation and finding new ways to strengthen bilateral relations.

He assured that, as the host of COP28, the UAE will ensure that action plans are in place and that there is a deep understanding of climate change related issues and loss and damage funds.

Prime Minister lays foundation stone for three projects

Separately, the prime minister laid the foundation stone for three mega-projects expected to cost over Rs 2,400 crore to connect the districts of Tolgarh and Buner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

These projects include a 25km interregional road from Tolhar to Buner, a 1km Karaka Tunnel in Buner and a Reinforced Concrete Concrete (RCC) bridge over the Indus River.

During the briefing, the Prime Minister was informed that the construction cost of the Inter-District Highway is expected to be Rs 4.72 billion to ensure the rapid travel and movement of the locals. It will also boost tourism and trade in the Khyber provinces of Hazara and Malakand.

The 1 km long Karaka tunnel will cost about Rs 9.58 billion and will reduce the driving distance between Toghhar and Buner districts by 11 km. The tunnel will be connected with the Swat highway. The construction cost of the RCC bridge is estimated at Rs 9.96 billion and will reduce the travel distance by 250 km.

Meet Fozia Siddiqui

Separately, Prime Minister Sheikh Baz met with Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr Afiya Siddiqui, who has been detained by the US for more than a decade on terror charges.

This is the second time the pair have met in the past three months, as the pair last met before Dr Siddiqui traveled to the US to meet her sister. He directed the Foreign Office to continue to engage fully with the US government and the Pakistani mission in Washington, to monitor Dr Afia’s health closely and to continue efforts to promote her early release.

Posted on July 7, 2023 by Dawn

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