ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Thursday met Valentina I Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federal Council (Senate) of the Russian Federation.

The Foreign Minister extended a warm welcome to the Chairperson on her first visit to Pakistan. The discussions on the occasion spanned the wide spectrum of Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations as well as important regional and international issues.

Foreign Minister Khar and Chairperson Matvienko commended the two Parliaments for their vital role in enhancing Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations. They took special note of the establishment of parliamentary friendship groups and agreed on the need for greater inter-parliamentary exchanges commensurate with the overall growth in the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia.

They also expressed satisfaction at the significant expansion in bilateral relations and the increasing frequency of high level exchanges as well as institutionalising mechanisms for economic cooperation, including the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) and the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Energy Cooperation. These bilateral activities would inject momentum in the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia cooperation.

Discussing various ongoing projects, Foreign Minister Khar conveyed her appreciation for Russian support and assistance towards the project of modernisation, reconstruction and expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills. The Foreign Minister also welcomed Russia’s interest in regional and trans-regional energy projects including CASA-1000 and TAPI.

The two leaders also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues including the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East. There was complete unanimity of views on enhancing bilateral cooperation, collaboration and coordination not only for the sake of mutual benefit but also with the aim of building stability, peace and prosperity in the broader region.