SAMARKAND: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday met Russian President Vladimir V. Putin here wherein he reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting held on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State, the prime minister said Pakistan was committed to expand cooperation with Russia across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade & investment, energy, defence and security.
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. He also shared details of the devastating impact of this climate-induced calamity.
Prime Minister Sharif expressed satisfaction at steady growth of Pakistan-Russia relations, which were marked by strong mutual trust and understanding.
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.
He 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.
During the meeting, Russian President Putin, while calling for need to work on connectivity and energy projects, discussed possibility of Pakistan Russia Stream Gas Pipeline project which he said required the infrastructure for delivery of LNG to Pakistan, according to a statement issued by the Russian presidency.
It was highlighted that the political stability in Afghanistan was essential to accomplish the connectivity projects.
He said Russia saw Pakistan as a priority partner in Southeast Asia and Asia as a whole and the relations between the two countries were developing “absolutely positively.”
He expressed condolences over the loss of life caused by floods in Pakistan. He said Russia had dispatched the necessary humanitarian aid to Pakistan and was ready to help organise assistance to the flood victims.
President Putin said regrettably, the Pak-Russian bilateral ties subsided due to the pandemic, but the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission was scheduled to take place in Karachi this autumn.
He hoped that during the upcoming meeting, both sides would not only find ways to restore mutual trade but also to increase it.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday met with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi wherein both the countries agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization being held here, both sides affirmed the desire to strengthen cooperation in economic, trade, connectivity, energy, culture and people-to-people links.
The two leaders exchanged views on the entire range of bilateral relations.
Both the leaders positively evaluated the outcome of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission and agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
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.
Prime Minister Sharif 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.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday underscored the significance of enhancing bilateral political ties and fast-tracking trade and economic cooperation by fully operationalizing Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
The Prime Minister expressed these views during a bilateral meeting with President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held here on the sidelines of the annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The two leaders exchanged views on Pakistan-Uzbekistan relations, and regional and international issues.
The wide-ranging talks covered bilateral cooperation, with a special focus on trade and economic relations, and regional connectivity through rail, road and seaports.
The Prime Minister thanked President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for his sympathies and condolences on sending humanitarian aid to the flood affected people.
He highlighted the devastation caused by the climate induced floods in Pakistan in terms of loss of human lives and damage to crops, livestock, housing and critical infrastructure.
The Prime Minister underlined the need for closer defence and security cooperation, and further increasing collaboration in the fields of education, culture and tourism.
He emphasized that liberalized Visa Regime would encourage business community of both countries to boost bilateral trade and investment.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the timely completion of Trans-Afghan Railway project and expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of field expedition inside Afghanistan by the technical teams from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Once completed, this project would effectively link the Central Asian countries with the world through the seaports of Karachi and Gwadar, he added.
The two leaders agreed to early convening of the Inter-Governmental Commission to formulate specific proposals and projects to further deepen and broaden Pakistan-Uzbekistan cooperation across the entire spectrum.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday expressed Pakistan’s resolve for the timely completion of the important CASA-1000 power project, aimed at the transmission of electricity from the Central Asian state.
In a meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the SCO Heads of Council meeting in Samarkand, the two leaders held wide-ranging talks covering all aspects of the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation including regional and international issues.
The prime minister emphasized the expansion of cooperation in the field of road transportation and underscored the importance of connectivity.
He underlined Pakistan’s readiness to facilitate the provision of access to Gwadar and Karachi to Tajikistan.
President Rahmon extended profound sympathies and condolences over the loss of human lives and devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan and assured of Tajikistan’s full support in the efforts for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people.
PM Sharif thanked Tajikistan for its support to the flood-affected people in Pakistan and shared details of the devastation caused by the massive floods, induced by climate change.
The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the growing political, trade, economic, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and senior officials were present.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif met with President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov on the sidelines of SCO Council of Heads of State meeting here on Thursday and exchanged views on growing bilateral relations.
The Kyrgyz President expressed sympathies and condolences over the loss of precious lives and damage to property in the massive floods in Pakistan caused by climate change.
The Prime Minister thanked President Zhaparov for the expression of solidarity and shared details of the devastation resulting from the unprecedented floods.
He also stressed the importance of urgent global action to address the threat of climate change and need for support to countries like Pakistan that had no contribution to carbon emissions.
The two leaders underscored the need for closer cooperation in trade, investments, energy and people-to-people contacts. The leaders accorded particular focus to further strengthening of high-level exchanges, inter-parliamentary relations, and defence and security ties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday had a bilateral meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko here on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State meeting.
The two leaders comprehensively reviewed the bilateral relationship and discussed regional and international issues.
The Prime Minister highlighted the massive human and material losses caused by the unprecedented floods in Pakistan and thanked President Lukashenko for his sympathies and condolences over the devastation caused.
Underscoring the rising threat of climate change to countries like Pakistan, he stressed the need to combat this menace through collective action at the global level.
While appreciating the broad framework of cooperation and mechanisms in place, the Prime Minister expressed his commitment towards increasing the momentum of bilateral collaboration in all fields including political, trade, investment and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Belarus. — APP