News Pakistan and Russia agree to promote bilateral relations especially in trade and ener

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MOSCOW: Pakistan and Russia Wednesday agreed to promote and enhance the bilateral relations in diverse fields including trade, energy and people to people to contacts.

Addressing a joint press along with her Russian counterpart, the Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said there has been a scope for cooperation between the two countries in different areas and all the aspects for improving cooperation have been discussed during the meeting of the two foreign ministers.

Foreign Minister Khar is visiting Russian Federation at the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov from February 7-10.

She held in-depth talks with her Russian counterpart on expanding and diversifying Pakistan-Russia relations.

The two foreign ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest besides increasing cooperation in energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, science and technology.

Replying to a question on Afghanistan, Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan has clear policy on that it will extend full help and cooperation to any Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven peace initiative as it is the only long lasting solution to the problem.

She said Pakistan has repeatedly said that there should be political solution to Afghan problem for durable pace in the region.

The minister said TAPI and KASA 1000 energy projects were also discussed during the meeting. She said Pakistan also got very encourage response from Russia for more investment in the most important project of Pakistan Steel Mills.

She said both the countries also agreed to enhance parliamentary interaction besides increasing cooperation at the level of foreign ministries of the two countries.

Hina said it has also been agreed that there would be more interaction between the chambers of commerce and industries of two countries to improve tarde activities.

The minister said the Russian investors have also shown interest to invest in different energy projects like Thar Coal.

Regarding cooperation in energy sector, she said, "we are looking forward for the energy group to be meeting within the first half of this year.

Talking about the regional level of cooperation, she said Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is exceptionally important forum with in the region face and counter the regional challenges.

She said Pakistan has been actively participating in the deliberations of SCO and seeking its permanent membership and thanked the Russian Federation extending its support on this issue.

Khar said next quadrilateral summit being held in Pakistan was also discussed during the meeting with her Russian counterpart and added "Pakistan is looking forward to host this summit". She said she had extended invitation to the Russian leadership on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari for this quadrilateral summit.

She said the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to Russian Federation and their meetings with the Russian leaders have also improved the bilateral ties and it also indicated that Pakistan gives importance to its relations with Russia.

Addressing the joint press conference the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said both the countries also agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism and drug crimes.

He said, "We have a good future in implementation of major transnational energy projects at the border between the Central Asian and South Asian regions."

Lavrov said, "In our international cooperation we pay special attention to the issues of terrorism and drug crimes."

He said soon, federal service representative of Russia on control of drug substances will start working in Islamabad.

On the issue of promotion of trade relations, Lavrov said the Pakistani side received Russia's draft of a joint action plan in trade and investments.

"We discussed cooperation in the framework of the SCO, the Dushanbe quartet and the UN Security Council, as Pakistan is the Security Council's permanent member for 2012-2013," Lavrov said.

He said, "We share approaches to major international problems, principles, on the basis of which it is necessary to settle emerging problems." (APP)
 
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