Pak-Russia partnership good for region: Abbasi

ISLAMABAD –  Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said a strong partnership between Pakistan and Russia would contribute towards promoting peace, stability and regional cooperation.

He said Pakistan attached high priority to its relations with the Russian Federation.

“Pakistan desires to forge a long-term and multi-faceted partnership with Russia in all areas of cooperation including trade and energy sector,” he told chairman of the State Duma of Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin who along with a delegation called on him, the PM office media wing said in a press release

The prime minister said there exist a huge potential between the two countries to further enhance their trade volume and strengthen bilateral economic ties.

Welcoming the chairman of state Duma to Pakistan, he observed that the six-party conference of the speakers was a useful platform to regularly interact and enhance cooperation in the field of counter terrorism, regional security and connectivity.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Chairperson of BISP Marvi Memon, MNA Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar and senior officers were present during the meeting.

Highlighting counter-terrorism efforts of the country, the prime minister emphasised that Pakistan had paid the heaviest price in the global war against terrorism. Our struggle was to secure peace not only in the region but in the entire world, he added.

He said Pakistan had abiding interest in peace and stability in Afghanistan and believed that there was no military solution to the conflict in the neighbouring country.

 “We will continue to support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution in Afghanistan,” the press release quoted the prime minister as saying.

He also highlighted the issue of drug trade in the region which he said, was a greatest threat to peace as being the source of funding for the terrorist activities.

Vyacheslav Volodin thanked the prime minister for the warm welcome and said enhanced trade ties between the two countries would serve to provide a solid base for forging greater cooperation and strengthening of bilateral relations.

Vyacheslav Volodin also appreciated the role of Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq towards strengthening of Pak-Russia relations through parliamentary forum.

He conveyed the strong desire of his country for establishing long-term and strengthened relations with Pakistan.

Later, the prime minister also hosted a dinner in honour of visiting speakers from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Russian Federation and Turkey.

Earlier, talking to the Russian delegation in the sideline meeting during Speakers’ Conference, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also stressed the need for regular interaction between the political and parliamentary leadership to build the bridges of understanding and friendship.

Talking with his Russian counterpart, Sadiq said that Pakistan considers Russia a valuable friend who has been partner in economic and infrastructure development in Pakistan. He said that constant engagement from either side has added depth to the existing relations. “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” the Speaker said.

He said that Pakistan values its relations with Russia and wants to diversify them through parliamentary, people-to-people and economic ties. He said that joint efforts by the both countries are needed for regional peace and progress. The menace of terrorism has been impeding the collective progress of this region and it can be overcome through in exchange of knowledge, expertise and experiences, he added.

Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani also held separate meetings with Speaker of Turkey Ismail Kahraman and Speaker of Iran Dr Ali Larijani on the sidelines of the Speakers Conference and exchanged views on regional situation and matters of mutual interests aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation.

He said Pakistan would continue to play its role to promote regional and global peace.

“We have rendered sacrifices in war against terror and more than seventy thousand persons including security forces, civilian, man and women have lost their lives”, he said, adding, the people of Pakistan, as a nation have shown great resilience and the country was committed to root out terrorism.

He said Pakistan had been in the front-line in war on terror.

The chairman emphasised the need for improved regional cooperation and linkages to work for the betterment of the masses. The recent developments, he said, had brought Pakistan, Iran and Turkey more closer.

The visiting dignitaries appreciated Raza Rabbani’s remarks and acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts for regional stability and global peace. The meetings also focused on enhanced parliamentary cooperation and trade linkages for benefit of the masses.

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