Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Pakistan PM meets world leaders including Xi and Putin on sidelines of SCO summit in Uzbekistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

PM Sharif was also accompanied by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif.

The SCO’s 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) was held on September 15-16.

Sharif and Putin discuss gas pipelines

On the first day of his visit, the Pakistani premier met President Vladimir Putin and discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues. During the meeting, Putin said that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible, revealing that necessary infrastructures were already in place.

“The objective is to deliver pipeline gas from Russia to Pakistan. This is possible as well, in view of the fact that some infrastructure is already in place in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan” Putin was quoted as saying. PM Sharif said that Pakistan looked forward to advancing trade, investment, and other areas like gas pipelines. 

Xi and Sharif discuss CPEC projects

On Septmeber 16, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders discussed the impact of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Pakistan’s socio-economic development.

President Xi stressed that the two sides must continue to firmly support each other, foster stronger synergy between their development strategies, and harness the role of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the CPEC to ensure smooth construction and operation of major projects.

“It is important to expand cooperation in such areas as industry, agriculture, science, technology and social welfare to create new impetus for the CPEC’s development” President Xi said. He added that China hopes that Pakistan will provide solid protection for the security of Chinese citizens and institutions in Pakistan as well as the lawful rights and interests of Chinese businesses. 

Other meetings at SCO 2022

PM Shehbaz also met Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi. The two leaders acknowledged moving forward positive trajectory of bilateral relations.

PM Sharif also had a meeting with President of Tajikistan Emamoli Rahmon and both leaders agreed to bolster ties.

On the sidelines of the summit, Pakistan and Kazakhstan agreed for early finalization of bilateral Transit Trade Agreement and undertake expert-level studies to enhance cooperation in the energy sector.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also held a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Samarkand. Sharif updated him on the current flood situation and thanked Turkey for sending relief goo food, tents and medicine via 13 military aircraft, five trains and Turkish Red Crescent trucks for flood-affected people.

Pakistani prime minister thanked all leaders for their support to help the 33 million affected peopel after the devastating floods in Pakistan. More than 100 humaniatrain aid flights have arrived in Pakistan over the last three weeks carrying essential supplies flood-affected people.

Call for climate action

PM Sharif in his address at the SCO summit called for urgent climate action in the wake of disastrous floods that have killed more than 1500 people in Pkaistan since mid June.

“This climatic injustice has befallen us despite the fact that our carbon emission is less than one per cent,” the Pakistani prime minister said. “I earnestly appeal to all of you that let the SCO stand up and take steps against this devastation through sustainable programmes,” to help with relief, rehabilitation and preventionn of water-borne diseases.

The presidents of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Mongolia on Friday seconded the proposal of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for an action plan by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for Pakistan to overcome the impact of climate change.

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