Army chief arrives in Russia for crucial talks: ISPR

Sources say army chief will brief Russian authorities on current regional situation

Kamran Yousuf June 15, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrived in Moscow on a three-day official visit to Russia against the backdrop of realignments taking place in the region.

The chief military spokesperson, who is also accompanying the army chief, said General Raheel was given an "elegant guard of honour" at a ceremony held at Kremlin on Monday.

“Wreath laying at tomb of unknown soldier. Heart warming to see Russian band play Pakistan anthem perfectly,” Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted.

During his three-day stay in Moscow, the army chief is expected to meet the top Russian civil and military leadership.

Read: No one dare cast an evil eye on Pakistan, army chief hits back at India

This is the first visit by General Raheel as the army chief to Russia, and is seen as sign of warming ties between the former cold-war rivals.

The visit comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between Pakistan and India. Sources said the army chief would brief Russian authorities on the current regional situation.

His visit is also seen as part of proactive diplomacy launched by Pakistan to reach out to regional countries in the wake of realignments in the region.

Relations between Pakistan and Russia have improved in recent years as the two countries are willing to bury their bitter past and open a new chapter in their relationship.

Read: Pak-China economic corridor: Army chief vows to defeat enemy’s designs

It is believed that Moscow is also keen to improve its ties with Islamabad after India, its long term ally, decided to move closer to the US.


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