In meeting with Russian president, PM Shehbaz Sharif reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia n Says Pakistan, Russia have vital stakes in a peaceful Afghanistan n Shehbaz Sharif holds separate meetings with presidents of Iran, Türkiye, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan,

Belarus on the sidelines of SCO-CHS in Samarkand n Visits Hazrat Khizar complex, Tomb of Islam Karimov.

 

SAMARKAND/MOSCOW    -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday met Russian President Vlad­imir V Putin 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 Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State, the prime min­ister said Pakistan is 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that pipe­line gas supplies to Pakistan are possible, and that part of the nec­essary infrastructure is already in place, Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported.

“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,” a state­ment from Sharif’s office said.

During the meeting, Putin re­ferred to Pakistan as one of Rus­sia’s priority partners in South­east Asia and Asia as a whole, Anadolu Agency reported Thurs­day. Offering condolences for the loss of precious lives in the floods, Putin expressed his country’s willingness to assist affected people in Pakistan, say­ing Russia has already sent hu­manitarian aid.

The president stated that re­lations with Islamabad are im­proving and that a meeting of the Russian-Pakistani In­ter-Governmental Commission (IGC) will be held this fall to dis­cuss ways to not only restore but also increase trade turnover.

“We have good prospects in various sectors: in the field of railway transport, in the energy sector, and there are very inter­esting and large-scale projects here. This is the so-called Pa­kistani Stream; we are talking about creating the necessary infrastructure for the supply of liquefied natural gas,” the pres­ident said. Putin noted that gas deliveries to Pakistan are possi­ble through Central Asian infra­structure – Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. “We need to resolve the issue with Afghani­stan,” he said, adding, “of course, there are problems related to political stability, but bearing in mind our mutual good relations with the Afghan people, I hope that this problem can be solved,” he said. The two sides agreed to convene the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commis­sion (IGC) in Islamabad at an early date, it said.

The long-delayed gas pipeline vital to the south Asian coun­try’s economy - the Pakistan Stream gas project, also known as the North-South gas pipeline - is to be built in collaboration with Russian companies.

The two countries agreed in 2015 to build a 1,100 km (683 mile)-long pipeline to deliver imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi on the Ara­bian Sea coast to power plants in the northeastern province of Punjab. The project, due to be launched in 2020, was delayed after Russian had to replace the initial participant, which was hit by Western sanctions.

Sharif has said in recent weeks that his government was also interested in buying wheat from Russia if it was offered at better rates.

‘PAK-UZBEK TRANSIT, PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENTS’

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 Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held here on the sidelines of annual Meet­ing of 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 expressing con­dolences and sympathies by sending humanitarian aid for 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 the business commu­nities 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, the 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. The prime minister extended an invitation to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to visit Pakistan. The Uzbek president also invited the prime minister to visit Uzbeki­stan at an early date.

PAKISTAN KEEN FOR TIMELY COMPLETION OF CASA-1000 POWER PROJECT: PM

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.

He underscored the need for a strategic partnership aimed at boosting security, mutual trust, countering the current global threats and challenges, enhanc­ing regional stability, and ex­panding political, trade and eco­nomic cooperation.

Both the leaders accord­ed particular focus on further strengthening of reliable and constructive high-level con­tacts, inter-parliamentary ties, defence and security relations between the two countries.

The prime minister under­lined the importance of reg­ular meetings of bilateral in­stitutional mechanisms and establishment of mutually ben­eficial cooperation in the imple­mentation of energy projects.

The leaders also exchanged views on regional and glob­al issues of mutual interest and agreed to work together to strengthen peace, stability and security in the region, particu­larly in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhu­tto Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Finance Min­ister Miftah Ismail, Foreign Sec­retary Sohail Mahmood and se­nior officials were present.

PM VISITS SAMARKAND’S HISTORIC KHIZAR MOSQUE

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday visited the ancient Khizar mosque of Uzbekistan’s historic city Samarkand as he ar­rived on a two-day visit to attend the annual meeting of the heads of state of the Shanghai Coopera­tion Organization (SCO).

The prime minister appreci­ated the architectural master­piece of the mosque built in the eighth century. Federal Minis­ters Khawaja Asif and Miftah Ismail accompanied the prime minister. PM Sharif also paid re­spects at the mausoleum of Uz­bekistan’s first president, Islam Karimov. The prime minister arrived here this morning to at­tend the SCO summit, where he will also hold meetings with the world leaders on the sidelines.

Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held meeting with Irani­an President Ibrahim Raisi in Samarkand on Thursday, on the sidelines of SCO Heads of Coun­cil summit. 

Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan call for closer cooperation

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif met with Kyr­gyzstan President Sadyr Zhap­arov on the sidelines of SCO Council of Heads of State meet­ing in Samarkand, 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 the need for support to countries like Pa­kistan that had virtually 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.

The leaders agreed to convene the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission at the earliest. They also reiterated their resolve for timely comple­tion of the “CASA-1000” power transmission project.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to facilitate Kyrgyz Republic’s access to the sea through Gwadar and Kara­chi ports. He also welcomed re­sumption of chartered flights between the two countries.

The Prime Minister thanked for hosting more than 11,000 Pakistani students in medical universities of the Kyrgyz Re­public and hoped that the Kyr­gyz government will continue to facilitate them and ensure their safety and security during the period of their education­al stay in the country. The two sides agreed to maintain reg­ular high-level contacts. The Prime Minister extended an in­vitation to President Zhaparov to visit Pakistan at an early date.

‘JOINT EFFORTS TO COMBAT CLIMATE-RELATED THREATS’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a bilateral meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on the side-lines of the SCO Council of Heads of State meeting in Samarkand, on Thursday.

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, the Prime Minis­ter stressed the need to combat this menace through collective action at the global level.