BEJING: Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has said that Pakistan and China have resolved to enhance bilateral cooperation with the pledge to play a key role for regional stability through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Talking to media, along with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) moot held here at Diaoyutai State Guest House on Monday, he said Mr Wang termed Pakistan and China close friends, all-weather strategic and cooperative partners during their meeting.
He said Mr Wang also appreciated Pakistan’s active participation in the SCO and expressed Beijing’s strong support to Islamabad’s efforts in enhancing regional peace and cooperation besides its tireless efforts in countering terrorism in the country.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, along with foreign ministers of other SCO member countries, also met Chinese President Xi Jinping here at the Great Hall.
Asif meets Chinese president, foreign minister
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Yevgeniy Sysoyev also attended the meeting.
Welcoming the foreign ministers, President Xi said the SCO set a new pilot model for mutual respect, as well as a just, fair, win-win relationship, since its founding 17 years ago.
Mr Asif in his meeting with Mr Wang highly appreciated the vibrant role of the SCO in the region and said it was significantly vital forum for regional cooperation.
He said Pakistan was looking forward to productive and fruitful meeting of the heads of states of the SCO at Qingdao in June this year. President Mamnoon Hussain would participate in the summit.
The foreign minister expressed his appreciation for the Chinese initiative of Pakistan-China-Afghanistan Foreign Ministers Trilateral Mechanism for enhancing cooperation with Afghanistan.
He also apprised Mr Wang of grave situation prevailing in India-held Kashmir.
Mr Asif congratulated Mr Wang on his re-election as foreign minister and his elevation as state councillor. He also congratulated him on re-election of Xi Jinping as president of People’s Republic of China and as core leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
He informed him about Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to China earlier this month and his participation in successful and productive Boao Forum for Asia conference.
Mr Wang said that China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic and cooperative partners and friendship between the two countries had received support from the peoples’ hearts, with solid public opinion foundation.
“No matter how the international and regional situation changes, the mutual trust between China and Pakistan remains unbreakable. No matter how domestic situations of the two countries change, the friendship between China and Pakistan is as stable as always. No matter how geopolitical structure adjusts, the cooperation between China and Pakistan enjoys continuous development,” he added.
He said that China-Pakistan relations showcased strong soundness, stability and persistence, which were not only conducive to both countries, but also increasingly becoming an anchor of regional peace and stability.
Mr Wang said China firmly supports Pakistan in defending its sovereignty and national dignity, its constant development and growth, and in fighting terrorism and safeguarding national security.
Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2018