PM Abbasi, Chinese Premier meet at SCO’s heads of government summit in Russia

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi being received by Deputy Governor of Krasnodar Region Vasiliy Shvetz upon his arrival at the airport in Sochi, Russia, November 30, 2017. APP/APP79-30

SOCHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived here in Russia Thursday to participate in the 16th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) — to be held from November 30 to December 1.

Upon his arrival, the premier was warmly received by Deputy Governor of Krasnodar Region, who was accompanied by Qazi M. Khalilullah — the Pakistani Ambassador to Russia — and other high-ranking officials.

Abbasi is participating in the CHG meeting on the invitation of his Russian Federation counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement. 

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This is the first meeting of the SCO’s heads of governments, wherein Pakistan will be participating as a full member, having assumed the position back in June, this year.

The meeting intends to focus on the strategy, prospects, and the priorities of the SCO’s developmental cooperation.

Abbasi will also participate in the SCO retreat — hosted by the Russian PM with his other SCO counterparts — which will be followed by a plenary session of the CHG wherein he is set to address the attendees.

The prime minister will outline Pakistan’s commitment to the SCO’s objectives — including fighting terrorism and extremism — and its sincere interest in regional peace, stability, and development.

The meeting will close on a signing ceremony of decisions and joint communiqué by the heads of delegations.

Abbasi will also be holding important bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines.

At present, the SCO comprises eight member states (Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), four observer nations (Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia), and six dialogue partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey).

Through its objectives, the SCO hopes to build mutual trust, equality, respect for cultural diversity, and good-neighbourly relations, and aims to promote effective cooperation in political, security, trade-related, economic, and social areas.

The SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure contributes towards regional peace, security, and stability.

Abbasi meets Chinese Premier

Abbasi and Li Keqiang — the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China — expressed satisfaction over the overall level of engagement between the two countries.

They agreed to continue close cooperation both within the SCO and at the bilateral level, in all areas, particularly political, economic and trade, defence and strategic, multilateral and United Nations (UN) matters.

The two leaders acknowledged that the Sino-Pak partnership was an anchor of strength for the regional and global peace and stability. They underscored persistent support for each other on all issues of mutual interest.

Abbasi also appreciated the active work being undertaken by the SCO under the current Chinese chairmanship and assured Pakistan’s complete support in fulfilling the targets set forth by China in political, security, economic, and cultural realms during its presidency.

The premier congratulated his Chinese counterpart on the success of 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China and his reelection on the Political Bureau as well as that of President Xi Jinping as the party’s General-Secretary.

Abbasi reaffirmed Pakistan’s traditionally strong support to China on its core issues, including the ‘One China Policy’.

The Chinese premier reiterated his full commitment to the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Li said Pakistan’s membership in the SCO would further contribute to the regional peace, security, stability, and development.

He expressed happiness over finalization of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) long-term plan during the recently-held seventh meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) in Islamabad.