ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has called for greater interaction and people-to-people contact with Russia. Talking to the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs of the Russian Federation Leonid Slutsky, he stressed the need for new synergies of parliamentary and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Russia.

Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Alexey Y. Dedov was also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, the Speaker specifically emphasized the political will and consensus in the parliament regarding the closer relations with Russia. He also stressed the need of Russian investment to come to Pakistan for the mutual benefit of both the countries.

“Russia can take advantage of the Pak-China “trade corridor”, spread from Chinese border to Gwadar port, as it can serve another alternative route for Russia to be linked with Middle East. This can play a vital role in the stability and economic progress of these regions,” the Speaker remarked. “We want a multi-dimensional relationship with Russia in the fields of trade, defence, energy, infrastructure, culture and other spheres,” the Speaker added.

The Speaker said that Pakistan and Russia not only share the same continent but also the same values of democracy and human freedom, therefore, both the nations need to take their bilateral relation to new heights. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also called for global multi-dimensional legislative and political measures to address challenges of terrorism and extremism. Both terrorism and extremism posed severe threat to global peace and prosperity but terrorism should not be associated with any religion, culture or society, the Speaker said.

He informed the Chairman that Speaker from China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan are agreed to participate in a conference held in Islamabad next month. “Pakistan is focusing how to tackle terrorism in the region and how to connect with each other” the Speaker said.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said terrorism and extremism are directly related to conflicts and disputes and called on the international community to pay urgent attention to address festering disputes and unresolved conflicts, aggression, foreign occupation and denial of the right to self-determination.”We must ensure regional stability and further economic integration to realize our goals,” he said.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs of the Russian Federation Leonid Slutsky agreed with the Speaker and said that his government also desires to have cordial relation with Pakistan. He also agreed for regular interaction between Pakistani and Russian Parliamentarians.

He appreciated the idea of theSpeaker to hold a conference in Pakistan devoted to security issues and fight against terrorism with the participation of China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. He informed the Speaker that the Russian President is also supported the regional conference held in Islamabad and he urged that this kind of interaction will be held every year. Leonid Slutsky also discussed ways and means for manifold increase in business and trade between the business communities of both the countries in the field of agriculture, textile, leather goods, sports goods, etc. and investment in energy sector by the Russian businesses.

Later on, Speaker hosted a lunch in honour Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky. Chairman Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Ambassadors and representatives of China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan were also invited. Diplomats of all the respective countries appreciated the gesture of Speaker to hold the conference and assured their support for the regional cause as well proactive participation in conference. Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky was also witnessed the proceedings of the National Assembly.