FM Dar to visit China in coming weeks

Sources say both side in process of finalising the dates for the visit

Kamran Yousaf April 17, 2024
Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar is expected to travel to China in the coming weeks as part of preparations for the likely visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

This will be Dar’s first visit to China as foreign minister and comes against the backdrop of recent terrorist incident in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Besham targeting the Chinese engineers.

There was no official confirmation from either side about the visit. However, sources said both sides were finalising the dates for the visit.

On Wednesday, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong met the foreign minister. “Multi-faceted discussions were held on the all-weather Pakistan-China strategic partnership and CPEC,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Read more: Five Chinese killed in suicide blast

No further details were provided but sources said that the Chinese ambassador extended the formal invitation to Dar for a visit to Beijing.

Pakistan has strategic ties with China and considers its support vital to address the country’s economic troubles. Sources said that Dar would lay the groundwork for the expected visit of PM Shehbaz sometime in late May or early June.

Observers believe that the terrorist incident in Besham would overshadow the agenda between the two countries.

Chinese are increasingly concerned over the security and safety of its nationals. PM Shehbaz gave personal assurances to the Chinese leadership that all those responsible would be brought to justice and no stone would be left unturned to ensure security for the Chinese nationals.

Pakistan is pinning great hopes on the second phase of CPEC to deal with its economic challenges.

Also read: JIT to probe attack on Chinese engineers, says info minister

Meanwhile, FM Dar on Wednesday received a telephone call from Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.

Reflecting upon the close friendly ties between Pakistan and the Czech Republic, the two foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation across all areas of mutual interest.

Noting the 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the Czech Republic next year, FM Dar underlined the importance of expanding collaboration in diverse fields, including trade, investment, education, and people-to-people exchanges.

The two foreign ministers agreed to enhance engagement and dialogue on regional and global issues of mutual interest.


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