CPEC remains top priority, Imran tells Xi

ISLAMABAD  –   Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday met President of China Xi Jinping wherein both the countries reaffirmed their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

The meeting took place in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, on the sidelines of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a PM Office statement said.

During the “extremely cordial meeting,” the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations between “iron brothers” China and Pakistan including CPEC.

The prime minister said that CPEC remained the highest priority of the government. He thanked China for its steadfast support on all issues of Pakistan’s core interest and expressed satisfaction at the close coordination between the two sides on multilateral issues.

The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s firm support to China on all issues of its core interest.

President Xi Jinping acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to counter terrorism and promote regional stability.

The two leaders discussed the regional situation and agreed to enhance coordination to build Pakistan China Community of Shared Destiny in the new era.

Both sides agreed that the visit of Vice President Wang Qishan had been a milestone. They expressed satisfaction that Pakistan and China had identical views on various international and regional issues.

The two leaders agreed to closely coordinate on challenges emerging from the changing global dynamics and affirmed that the time-tested Pakistan-China relationship would continue to move from strength to strength.

A statement issued by Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing after the meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Khan in Bishkek said “Xi Jinping pointed out that in the past eight months, I met with the Prime Minister three times. This fully reflects the high level of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership.”

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The Chinese president also remarked that under the changing the international and regional situation, China and Pakistan should carry out closer coordination and cooperation to build a closer community of shared destiny.

Xi Jinping emphasized that both the countries must maintain, consolidate and develop China-Pakistan all-weather relations and all-round cooperation.

The Chinese president maintained that the two sides should thoroughly communicate on issues of common concern and jointly safeguard international and regional security and stability. “We must expand and enrich the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with new focus on industrial parks, agriculture and people’s livelihood,” he added.

Xi said it was necessary to seize the opportunity of the escalation of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and vigorously expand bilateral trade. China was willing to provide assistance to Pakistan within its ability.

The Chinese president said his country supported Pakistan in carrying out the national anti-terrorism action plan and would help Pakistan strengthen its counter-terrorism capacity building, adding, “ China supports Pakistan and India to improve relations.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Viladimir Putin in a brief meeting on sidelines of the SCO Summit discussed Afghanistan issue, situation in Middle East and Iran, and took the Russian President into confidence on Kashmir’s situation.

Talking to media persons, he said the Russian President appreciated Pakistan’s role and efforts for promoting regional peace and security. He said different changes were taking place in the world but unfortunately global uncertainty was increasing. He said the SCO forum provided an opportunity for peace, stability and regional connectivity.

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Source: The Nation

Date: June 15, 2019

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