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Chinese foreign minister's visit to Pakistan postponed

February 09, 2015

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. -AFP/File
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. -AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's two-day official visit to Pakistan which was scheduled for Monday (today) has been postponed for unknown reasons.

Beijing has informed Islamabad about the new dates for Yi's visit.

"Mr Yi will now be visiting Pakistan from 12 to 13 of February," an official source told Dawn.

The reasons for the postponement of the foreign minister's visit has not been made public. However, sources said some strategic engagements of Yi in Beijing were the reason for the change in schedule.

During his visit, the top Chinese diplomat will meet President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with the country's military leadership.

Wang Yi will also hold talks at the foreign ministry with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz.

Both Beijing and Islamabad will finalise the dates of the Chinese president's visit to Pakistan, which is expected to take place next month.

A diplomatic source had told Dawn that the Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend the Pakistan Day parade as chief guest.

Read more: After 7 year gap, Pakistan Day to see military parade in full glory

"We are in the middle of a process to finalise the drafts of various agreements to be signed during the visit of the Chinese president," Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal had previously told Dawn at Parliament House.

He made it clear that at no cost would the visit by the President Xi Jinping be postponed this time.

"The visit by the Chinese president is extraordinary because of two reasons, first due to the visit by US President Barack Obama to India last month and second due to long awaited joint services military parade on 23rd March in Islamabad which would be graced by the Chinese president," Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed had previously told Dawn.