ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Russia Monday agreed to deepen friendship and enhance cooperation in various fields, including agriculture, energy, industries and production, trade and investment, and science and technology.
This transpired in the joint minutes signed by the representatives of the two governments during the second session of Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation co-chaired by Foreign Affairs State Minister Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly L Mutko.
The commission discussed enhancing mutually-beneficial economic relations in the sectors of energy, industries and production, bilateral trade and investment, scientific and technical cooperation, agriculture, and other avenues of cooperation. The body finalised the texts of memorandums of understanding for a greater cooperation.
During the meeting presentations were made by the Russian deputy minister of energy, the representative of the Gazprom International and Inter Rao, the President of the Russian Business Council for Cooperation with Pakistan, and their counterparts in Pakistan.
The co-chairs signed the Joint Minutes, which not only reviewed progress made since the First Session of the IGC in September 2010 but also laid strong foundations for future bilateral cooperation. In this context, the two leaders also decided that the third session of the commission would be held in Moscow in 2013.
The state minister said Pakistan and Russia had turned a new page in bilateral relations. There was a greater understanding and convergence of views on important political and security issues, including regional stability and combating terrorism and drug trafficking.
He assured of Pakistan's continuing support to the Russian Federation for its participation in these regional projects. The Minister of State also thanked Russia for supporting Pakistan's candidature for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Separately talking to Vitaly L Mutko at a meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan regarded Russia's growing power as a positive feature in the present day multi-polar world and welcomed greater role of Russia in regional and global affairs.
The president said Pakistan considered Russia as a source of stability and peace both regional and global level, said Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar. Zardari appreciated the visiting minister efforts for positive outcome of the 2nd Session of Pak-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and expressed the hope his visit would help realise economic objectives.
He said being the important players in the region, Pakistan and Russia needs to further strengthen their relations and increase contacts and exchanges at the highest level. The president said that frequent contacts would help boost bilateral relations and provide impetus to efforts aimed at enhancing cooperation and trade.
He added Pakistan was eager to promote greater connectivity with the Central Asian Republics through various trans-national projects and welcomed Russian interest in Iran-Pakistan Pipeline Project, CASA-1000 and TAPI.
Terming President Putin a statesman, Zardari lauded leadership qualities of his Russian counterpart. He said that he was keen to meet him during his previous visit to Moscow but he could not undertake the visit due to domestic engagements. He said Pakistan looks forward to welcome the Russian president and expressed the hope that the visit would cement bilateral relations.
The president said that Pakistan wanted to extend collaboration with Russia in energy, transfer of technology and expansion and modernization of Pakistan project of Pakistan Steel Mills. Expressing satisfaction over the progress made by two sides in expansion and modernisation of the PSM, Zardari added that important milestone would be achieved in this regard during the visit of Russian President to Pakistan.
The visiting minister thanked the president for warm welcome and said that Russia wanted to strengthen its relations with Pakistan. Appreciating huge sacrifices made by Pakistani people in the war against terror, he lauded the leadership of Pakistan for promoting regional peace and connectivity.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Secretary General Salman Faruqui, Board of Investment Chairman Saleem H Mandviwala, Senator Sughra Imam and Rusian envoy Yury Kozlov and officials concerned attended the meeting.