ISLAMABAD: The defence ministers of Pakistan and Russia met in Islamabad on Thursday to sign an agreement on military cooperation.
The agreement will pave way for exchange of information on politico-military issues as well as issues related to strengthening of mutual trust and international security.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, accompanied by a 41 member high-level delegation, is visiting Islamabad on the invitation of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.
The talks between the two ministers focused at strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries and stressed the need for continuation of momentum gained during the Moscow conference.
During the meeting, Asif appreciated Russia’s overtures in enhancing bilateral relations with Pakistan.
He added that strong ties between Pakistan and Russia will help in building stability and prosperity in the region, and that the signing of the military cooperation agreement between the two countries is a milestone.
“Both sides will translate this relationship in tangible terms and further strengthen military to military relations,” he said.
While the Russian Defence Minister appreciated the skill and expertise of Pakistan Army in fighting the war against terrorism.
“The world community not only praises but wants to do business with Pakistan now,” Shoigu said.
Pakistan seeks better trade ties with Russia
Later in the day, Shoigu also held in-depth talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Radio Pakistan reported.
The premier said that Pakistan wants to promote multi-dimensional relations with Russia.
Nawaz said Pakistan was keen to enhance bilateral trade ties with Russia, adding that Russian companies can take advantage of investment opportunities in infrastructure and energy sectors in Pakistan.
The premier sought Russian cooperation in Pakistan getting full fledged membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Russian defence minister’s visit comes at a critical juncture when US-led Nato forces are drawing down from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Apart from promoting bilateral defence relations, the visit will enable both countries to join hands in bringing peace and stability in the region.
Earlier today, Foriegn Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam during her weekly press briefing said, “Our ties with Moscow are moving in an upward trajectory. Islamabad seeks Moscow’s cooperation for social and economic development.”