Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday called Russia a factor of stability in the region and the world.
"Russia is a factor of stability in the region. But not only at the regional level, it is a factor of stability in the international arena," the Pakistani Foreign Minister said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Islamabad.
Qureshi said Pakistan wants to build relations of trust and friendship with Russia and considers relations with Moscow one of its priorities.
"Pakistan intends to build strong multi-vector relations with Russia, this is a priority for us. Today we are taking a new approach to Russia," Qureshi stressed.
The Pakistani Foreign Minister pointed out that Russia has always been an advocate of the supremacy of international law, multilateralism in international relations. Pakistan adheres to the same principles, Qureshi pointed out.
Qureshi said Pakistan is ready for further development of economic relations with Russia, including within the framework of the Pakistan Stream project.
"During our talks, we explored ideas for furthering economic diplomacy and discussed the development of energy cooperation, including the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline project. We discussed our security cooperation, including counterterrorism and defense," Qureshi wrote on Twitter.
"Foreign Minister Lavrov and I agreed on the need to promote more people-to-people contacts through increased cooperation in various fields, including education. We will also strengthen our cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," the Pakistani Foreign Minister added.
During a joint press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi stressed that Islamabad is interested in building the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline. "We have overcome many obstacles. And I assured the Foreign Minister [of Russia] that Pakistan is willing and determined to implement the [Pakistan Stream] project," the Pakistani Foreign Minister said.
The intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the North-South gas pipeline (now called Pakistan Stream) with a length of about 1,100 km and a capacity of 12.4 billion cubic meters of gas per year was signed between Russia and Pakistan in October 2015. The parties were supposed to sign commercial agreements in 2016, and the facility was to be commissioned by 2018, but the project deadlines have already been postponed several times. Qureshi emphasized that Pakistan is experiencing an energy shortage and will "only benefit" from this project.
Speaking about economic relations, the Pakistani Foreign Minister said that last year these relations reached a new level due to the import of wheat from Russia. In addition, the countries have agreed to hold an intergovernmental commission meeting in Moscow this year, which will create a basis for more detailed economic cooperation in the future.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry
Based on materials from TASS