‘We must capitalise on our cooperation’, Qureshi tells Russian counterpart

Foreign minister says gas pipeline project between the two countries would commence soon after fresh agreement


Our Correpondent June 14, 2021
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Islamabad. PHOTO: MOFA/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday and emphasised on the need to further enhance the cooperation between the two countries.

During the call, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, said the Foreign Office in a statement issued on Monday.

FM Qureshi reaffirmed that relations with Russia are a key priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the recent visit of Lavrov to Islamabad reflected keenness of both sides to deepen “our long-term multi-dimensional partnership”.

“Pakistan-Russia relations have made impressive progress over the past two decades and we must continue to capitalise on our cooperation,” the FO quoted Qureshi as saying.

Also read: Prospects of Putin’s Pakistan visit brighten after gas pipeline deal

The foreign minister further said that an important development since the Russian FM’s visit was the signing of protocol on amendments to inter-governmental agreement for the development of North-South Gas Pipeline Project (Pakistan Stream) and that it would pave the way for an early commencement of the project.

Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s request for assistance in procuring five million doses of Sputnik V vaccine. The foreign minister, the communiqué said hoped that joint mechanisms such as political consultations, Pakistan-Russia IGC and various other joint working groups meetings would resume in-person once the Covid-19 situation normalises.

“The two foreign ministers stressed the importance of follow-up action on the decisions made during the recent visits to transform these into tangible outcomes. Both sides agreed to work closely for an early negotiated political settlement of the Afghan issue,” said the statement.

The two top diplomats agreed to remain in close contact, it added.

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