Ties with Russia key priority for Pakistan, says foreign minister

FM Qureshi, Russian counterpart discuss bilateral ties, Afghan crisis among other issues in Dushanbe


News Desk September 16, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on SCO sidelines in Dushanbe. PHOTO: TWITTER/@SMQureshiPTI

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe and reiterated commitment to further enhance the bilateral ties.

Recalling earlier interaction with Lavrov during the latter’s visit to Pakistan in April 2021, the two leaders exchanged views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Matters relating to the regional and global issues were also the subject of discussion.

FM Qureshi stated that relations with Russia are one of the key priorities of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan is committed to furthering cooperation with Russia in trade, investment, energy, defence and people-to-people exchanges as well as collaboration at multilateral and regional fora including the SCO, the official statement quoted Qureshi as saying.

He underscored the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for the regional security and prosperity. He emphasised the urgent need for the promotion of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in order to address food and medicine shortage in the country.

Qureshi underlined the need for the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan.

Also read: PM Imran arrives in Dushanbe for SCO Summit

He added that strengthening trade and investment relations and cooperation in the energy sector are the cornerstones of engagement with Russia.

In this context, Pakistan looked forward to holding of Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Investment in Russia later this year. The foreign minister also reaffirmed the government’s resolve for early realisation of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

Qureshi thanked FM Lavrov for enhancing scholarships for Pakistani students in academic institutions in Russia.

Pakistan and Russia enjoy close, friendly ties marked by mutual trust and understanding.

Relations between Islamabad and Moscow have been on an upward trajectory propelled by converging views on important regional and international issues, growing trust and increasing bilateral cooperation manifested by recent high-level interactions, according to the communiqué.

The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in close contact.

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