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Pak's Qureshi, Russia's Lavrov agree to further promote cooperation

Paks Qureshi, Russias Lavrov agree to further promote cooperation

Islamabad: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday agreed to further promote bilateral cooperation in the field of economy, trade, security, including counter-terrorism and defence.

Lavrov, the first Russian foreign minister to visit Pakistan since 2012, and Qureshi held delegation-level talks with Qureshi to review the bilateral relationship as well as the situation in war-torn Afghanistan.

"During our talks we considered ideas to further promote #EconomicDiplomacy and discussed progress in the area of energy cooperation including the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline project. We reviewed our cooperation in the field of security including counter-terrorism and defence," Qureshi said in a series of tweets after the meeting.

He said the two sides agreed on the need to promote greater people-to-people contact through greater collaboration across a diversity of fields, including education. "We will also be enhancing our cooperation within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation," he said.

"We are confident that this visit will give further momentum to our deepening friendship and we remain committed to expanding our relations in diverse areas through further high-level contacts, he added.

Qureshi also said that Pakistan and Russia "share convergent positions on several issues on multilateral agenda including peace and stability in Afghanistan."

Addressing a joint press conference later, Qureshi said Pakistan was keen to build a strong multifaceted relationship with Russia.

"There is a new approach and mindset in Pakistan for a relationship with Russia. We feel that not just we have geographic proximity but Russia is a factor of stability in the region and the world at large, he said, adding that Pakistan wants to build a relationship of trust with Russia.

On his part, Lavrov said Russia was ready to further build counter-terrorism potential through provision of military equipment.

"This is in the interest of all states of the region, he said, adding that both the sides have agreed to further conduct military exercises and drills.

He said Russia was committed to promote bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields including economy, trade and defence. He expressed satisfaction over the 46 per cent increase in bilateral trade but said "there is need to further diversify it."

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