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Accord to diversify ties with Russia

Updated Aug 31, 2013 07:06am
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. — File Photo
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia wrapped up their first strategic dialogue with a commitment to remaining engaged and maintaining the momentum in the relationship.

“Both sides noted with satisfaction the growing understanding between the two countries and discussed in detail the state of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed their commitment to further deepening and diversifying the bilateral relationship to their mutual benefit,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office on the conclusion of the strategic dialogue said on Friday.

At the talks held at the foreign secretaries’ level in Moscow, the Pakistani side was led by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Russia’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Gennadievich Titov led his side. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov also participated in the consultations.

The dialogue, the Foreign Office says, lays an institutional framework for building closer relations between the two countries through discussions for cooperation in political, economic, defence and other sectors. The two sides exchanged views on regional and international developments. Broadly, Pakistan and Russia agreed for more high-level contacts, closely coordinating positions on regional and international issues, and expanding trade and investment relations and cooperation in the field of energy and power generation.

Pakistan and Russia, which have a history of estrangement and remained on opposite sides during the cold war era, now look to have policy convergences on a number of international issues, including Afghanistan and Syria. This similarity in views coupled with growing warmth in defence ties has helped the two countries to come close.