Pakistan and Russia discussed the Afghan peace process on Wednesday, as both countries vowed to “build a strong, multi-dimensional relationship that is based on trust.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov have said that Pakistan and Russia aim to deepen their bilateral relations. The Russian foreign minister arrived in Islamabad yesterday for a two-day official visit.

Addressing a joint press conference with Lavrov in Islamabad, Qureshi said the talks with his Russian counterpart had been very productive and covered “practically everything.”

“We are keen to build a strong, multi-dimensional relationship with Russia,” he said, adding that it will be approached with a new mindset.

“We feel Russia is a factor of stability in the region and global stage,” he said.

He said Pakistan intends to build a relationship of trust with Russia, and their relations are continuously improving. In strengthening ties, the “sky is the limit,” he added.

Qureshi said that his talks with the Russian diplomat covered cooperation in defence and counter-terror, as well as the Afghan peace process.

“We feel that within our framework, there are opportunities for interaction and we feel we can help each other,” he said.

He also said the ministers discussed the European troika, as well as the possibility of a Moscow format meeting.

“We have discussed the fragility of our border with India, discussed Kashmir, and shared the positive development of ceasefire reaffirmation,” the minister added.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov added that relations between Pakistan and Russia are mutually beneficial.

“We have high-level commitments and dialogue,” he said, adding that he is satisfied by the increase in mutual trade.

He said that both countries should further play their roles to develop bilateral relations, and have discussed cooperation in the area of North-South gas pipeline as well as the potential for counterterror initiatives, including supply of military equipment.

He added that the countries intend to conduct exercises in common field and at the United Nations, and that the two countries agreed to facilitate contradictory and hostile parties for dialogue.

“We should not forget the task of establishing the state of Palestine,” he added. “Russia stands ready to facilitate direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel.”

“We stand ready to deepen relations with Pakistan,” Sergei Lavrov remarked.


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