ISLAMABAD – Reiterating the importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with Russia as a key foreign policy priority, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed satisfaction at the at the steady growth in bilateral ties with Moscow.
The premier expressed his views when Foreign Minister of Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, who reached Pakistan yesterday on two-day long visit, called on him on Wednesday.
Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations and issues of regional and global importance were discussed during the meeting. .
The premier recalled his interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the SCO Summit in Bishkek in June 2019, where he had underscored his desire to take the bilateral relationship to a new level.
PM Khan also reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to expeditiously conclude the requisite legal process for the “Pakistan Stream” (North-South) Gas Pipeline project and commence the work as early as possible.
Enhanced bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, industrial modernization, railways and aviation was also discussed in the meeting.
It was agreed that the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), due to meet in Moscow later this year, would closely pursue specific proposals and projects in this context.
Both high ups also exchanged views on the health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister congratulated Russia on its development of Sputnik-V vaccine and underscored Pakistan’s procurement plans in this regard.
PM Appreciates Russia’s Efforts for Peace in Afghanistan
In the regional context, the premier stressed the importance of a negotiated political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.
He appreciated Russia’s efforts in promoting the Afghan peace process including through the hosting of the recent meeting of Extended Troika in Moscow.
With reference to the situation in IIOJK, the Prime Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on issues of peace and security in South Asia, including the need for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Views were also exchanged on situation in West Asia, the Gulf, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.
PM Imran Khan reiterated his invitation to President Putin to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.
Russia, Pakistan Agree to Promote Economic Diplomacy
Earlier today, Sergey Lavrov was warmly welcomed by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During their discourse, the two key statesmen agreed to promote Economic Diplomacy and discussed progress in the area of energy production and cooperation, including the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline Project.
FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Sergey Lavrov reviewed the current mode of cooperation in terms of security and combatting terrorism.
The Foreign Ministers agreed on the need to promote greater people-to-people contact through greater collaboration across a diversity of fields, including education. They will also be enhancing our cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.