October 3, 2022

TASHKENT:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shangai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand where the Russian president expressed willingness to supply gas to Pakistan.

During the meeting, Putin said that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible and that part of the necessary infrastructure was already in place, Reuters quoted Russian state-owned news agency RIA as saying.

Earlier in the day, PM Shehbaz reached Samarkand to attend the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the SCO at the invitation of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is chairing the meeting.

According to the state-run APP, the premier also called on Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and discussed issues of mutual interest.

The meeting focused on strengthening Pak-Uzbek ties in diverse fields for the benefit of the two brotherly nations. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, and senior officials also attended the meeting.

‘Shanghai Spirit’

In a tweet prior to his departure, the prime minister said Pakistan reiterated its commitment to the ‘Shanghai Spirit’.

“Mutual respect and trust can be the bedrock of shared development and prosperity,” he posted on his Twitter handle.

He said the SCO had a great potential to chart a way forward at a time of deeply worrying transformation in the geo-political and geo-economic fields

“The global economic turbulence has necessitated the need for more cooperation among the SCO member countries. The SCO vision represents the aspirations of 40 per cent of the world population,” he said.

Leaders of the SCO member countries and observer states as well as heads of the SCO organisations and other special guests are also attending the meeting.

 

At the event, the SCO leaders will deliberate on important global and regional issues, including climate change, food and energy security, and sustainable supply chains.

They will also approve agreements and documents that will chart the future direction of cooperation among the SCO member states.

Since becoming a full member of the SCO in 2017, Pakistan has actively been contributing to advancing the organisation’s core objectives by participating in various SCO mechanisms.

Executive director of the Centre for Global and Strategic Studies of Pakistan Khaled Akram said, “As unstable and uncertain factors are on the rise globally, the SCO needs to strengthen coordination in multilateral affairs and firmly uphold true multilateralism”.

Akram also said that “With the joint efforts of all countries, the summit will achieve a series of important consensus and outcomes, and give new impetus and direction to the SCO to achieve and greater development plans”.

 

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