BEIJING: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will arrive here on Sunday to attend the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and hold a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
The SCO Council of Foreign Ministers, to be chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will exchange views on cooperation in various fields among the member-states and on major regional and international issues.
At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif of Pakistan, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj of India, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldayev of Kyrgyzstan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Foreign Minister Sirodjidin Aslov of Tajikistan, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan, Secretary-General of the SCO Rashid Alimov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Yevgeniy Sysoyev will attend the meeting, according to a top Chinese diplomat here.
Maintaining the security and stability of the region and promoting the common development and prosperity of member states are the purposes of the SCO.
Since its establishment, the SCO has always put the security field as its key cooperation direction.
“We hope and believe that all parties would use this conference as an opportunity to vigorously promote the “Shanghai spirit”, consolidate good neighbourliness and friendship, solidarity and mutual trust, gather more consensus on cooperation, and jointly promote the SCO’s new development,” the diplomat added.
The council of the foreign ministers meeting will be the first one after the enlargement of SCO which is meant to lay a ground work for the SCO Qingdao Summit in June.
During the meeting, the Chinese leadership will have a group meeting with the heads of the delegations. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will witness signing of the outcome documents while a press released based on consensus of the meeting will be issued.
The SCO summit will be held in Qingdao, a port city and a famous tourist spot in China in June this year. As the rotating president of the SCO, China will host this year’s summit.
President, Mamnoon Hussain is likely to lead the delegation from Pakistan during the summit.
Pakistan became a full member of the SCO in June last year and has been playing active role in the organization which was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The SCO comprises eight member states – China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The SCO has four members with observer states, including Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.