PM Imran in Moscow on two-day historic trip

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday arrived in Russia on a two-day official visit, at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

The prime minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation including federal ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Asad Umar, Hammad Azhar, Commerce Adviser Abdur Razzak Dawood, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and Amir Mahmood Kiani.

A guard of honour was presented to the prime minister and the Pakistani delegation by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. The delegation was given a red carpet welcome by the authorities.

The bilateral summit will be the highlight of the visit. During the summit meeting, the two leaders will review the entire array of bilateral relations including energy cooperation, according to Foreign Office.

They will also have a wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues, including Islamophobia and the situation in Afghanistan.

The prime minister’s visit will contribute to the further deepening of the multifaceted Pakistan-Russia bilateral relationship and enhancement of mutual cooperation in diverse fields. Pakistan-Russia relations have made impressive progress over the past two decades.

There has been regular interaction between the two sides at the highest level as well as the working level. Analysts believe premier’s visit to the Russian capital marks the beginning of a new era in ties between the former foes – particularly after the abrupt withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan last year.

“Bilateral relations have never been this good. Although there is a long road ahead, the progress that Russia and Pakistan have made in such a short amount of time is impressive,” said Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based political analyst.

“It is especially symbolic that these former Cold War-era rivals came together due to shared concerns about threats emerging from Afghanistan – considering that they once fought a proxy war there,” Korybko said via email.

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