By Abid Siddique Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD : Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Russia Mr. Sergey Lavrov today. During the call, the two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The Foreign Minister reaffirmed that relations with Russia are a key priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He said that Foreign Minister Lavrov’s recent visit to Pakistan reflected keenness of both sides to deepen our long-term multidimensional partnership. Foreign Minister Qureshi added that Pakistan-Russia relations have made impressive progress over the past two decades and we must continue to capitalize on our cooperation.
The Foreign Minister further said that an important development since Foreign Minister Lavrov’s visit was the signing of Protocol on amendments to Inter Governmental Agreement for the development of North-South Gas Pipeline Project (Pakistan Stream) and that it would pave the way for an early commencement of the project.
The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s request for assistance in procuring 5 Million doses of Sputnik V vaccines. The Foreign Minister hoped that joint mechanisms such as Political Consultations, Pakistan-Russia IGC and various other Joint Working Groups meetings would resume in-person once the Covid situation normalizes.
The two Foreign Ministers stressed the importance of follow-up action on the decisions made during the recent visits to transform these into tangible outcomes. Both sides agreed to work closely for an early negotiated political settlement of the Afghan issue.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain in close contact.