Friday Sep 22 2017

Pakistan desires deeper ties with Russia in diverse fields: Khawaja Asif

Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Khawaja Asif/File photo

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed mutual efforts for strengthening of Pakistan-Russia relations and the prevailing international and regional security situation.

In a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA session in New York on Friday, Khawaja Asif expressed Pakistan's desire for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia in diverse fields, emphasising the need for promoting trade and economic cooperation.

Lavrov suggested that the forthcoming Intergovernmental Commission should explore concrete measures for enhancing trade, investment and energy connectivity between Russia and Pakistan.

The two leaders also had in-depth discussion on the efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Lavrov extended invitation to Khawaja Asif to visit Moscow for bilateral consultations on strengthening bilateral relations and exchanging views about the international and regional issues.

Khawaja Asif also participated in the Informal Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), on the sidelines of the General Assembly session.

The meeting was hosted and chaired by the Foreign Minister of Nepal and was attended by the Foreign Ministers of the SAARC Member States.

In his remarks, Khawaja Asif reiterated Pakistan's full commitment to SAARC's principles and objectives and highlighted the organisation's potential in promoting progress and prosperity in South Asia through enhanced regional integration.

He also stressed that Pakistan considered SAARC an important platform for organising a collective response to regional challenges, particularly the region's development needs.

Pakistan wants SAARC to utilise the full potential of the region and calls for constructive engagement towards this end, he said.