ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with Russia to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif held a warm and cordial meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State in Samarkand.
The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
The Prime Minister thanked President Putin for Russia’s expression of solidarity and support for the people affected by the massive floods in Pakistan. The Prime Minister also shared details of the devastating impact of this climate induced calamity.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at steady growth of Pakistan-Russia relations, which were marked by strong mutual trust and understanding.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen cooperation between the two countries across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade & investment, energy, defence and security.
It was agreed to convene the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) in Islamabad at an early date. Appreciating Russia’s constructive role in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that both Pakistan and Russia had vital stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister said that it was essential to intensify the pace of international engagement on Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to support all regional and international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif also met President of Iran Seyed Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Heads of State meeting in Samarkand on Thursday.
The Prime Minister extended his gratitude to President Raisi and to the people of Iran for their solidarity and support with the Pakistani nation during the massive floods in the country.
The Prime Minister highlighted the devastating impact of the floods caused by climate change, and underscored that Pakistan with the least carbon emissions was bearing the cost of something for which it was not responsible.
He stressed the importance of tangible international action to help address the challenges that climatically vulnerable countries like Pakistan were facing.
During the meeting, the two leaders positively evaluated the outcome of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission and agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
Both sides also affirmed the desire to strengthen cooperation in economic, trade, connectivity, energy, culture and people-to-people links.
The Prime Minister underscored the need for closer bilateral engagement for boosting economic and energy cooperation, operationalizing barter trade, opening border sustenance markets, and facilitation of Pakistani Zaireen.
It was agreed that Pakistan would be sending a delegation to discuss measures for expanded cooperation in bilateral trade and energy sectors. The Prime Minister reiterated his invitation to President Raisi to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience. President Raisi renewed his invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Iran.