Russian foreign minister due in Islamabad next week

Published April 2, 2021
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gestures while speaking during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry's work in 2019, in Moscow, Russia on Jan 17, 2020. — AP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gestures while speaking during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry's work in 2019, in Moscow, Russia on Jan 17, 2020. — AP

ISLAMABAD: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will arrive here next week to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the Afghan peace process, sources told Dawn.

This will be the first visit of a Russian foreign minister to Pakistan since 2012.

Before arriving in Islamabad on April 6, Mr Lavrov is scheduled to visit New Delhi. He will be accompanied by Russia’s special envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kaboluv.

With the Afghan situation on top of the agenda, the two foreign ministers will also discuss bilateral ties, including economic cooperation and counterterrorism and socio-economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leaving the bitterness of the past behind, Islamabad and Moscow have developed strategic trust and share views on various issues, including the Afghan problem.

Russia recently hosted a conference of Pakistan, the United States, China and representatives from the Afghan government and the Taliban as part of its efforts to break the stalemate in the ongoing Afghan peace process.

Russia, like Pakistan, China and Iran, is concerned that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan without a prior peace deal could jeopardise regional security.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2021

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