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Pakistan backs ‘One China’ policy: FM Qureshi

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi attended the Shanghai Cooperation Council's meeting of Foreign Ministers of member states on Thursday.

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Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi individually met with foreign ministers Wang Yi of China, and Sergei Lavrov of Russia, respectively, while attending Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers on Thursday.

Qureshi’s met with his Chinese counterpart for the second time in three weeks. According a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, bilateral, regional as well as international issues concerning both parties were discussed during the meeting.

Mr Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan remained committed to “One China” policy and stood firmly behind China on core issues of its national interest.

He emphasised that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was important for peace and stability in the region and beyond and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned pea­ce and reconciliation process was critical in restoring regional peace and stability. He said India’s expansionist and unilateral actions, particularly since Aug 5, 2019, had been imperiling regional peace and security.

Mr. Qureshi meetings with Russian envoy Sergei Lavrov

During the meeting with Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, the two sides discussed matters of mutual interest, including the Covid-19 situation, prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation, regional issues and cooperation at multilateral fora.

Read more: Benefits to Pakistan in joining Shanghai Cooperation Organization

They also exchanged views on further strengthening trade and economic cooperation, including in the field of energy, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Foreign Minister Lavrov welcomed Pakistan’s likely participation in the forthcoming Kavkaz military exercise scheduled to be held in Russia later this month. Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Pakistan considered Russia as an important partner, and wanted to forge a long-term and multi-dimensional partnership with it.

Russia and Pakistan discuss regional issues aiming for greater cooperation

The two ministers also discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of the recent positive developments.

On the issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Mr Qureshi shared deep concerns over the grave human rights and humanitarian situation as well as the Indian attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

Read more: Putin appreciates Pakistan for promoting regional peace: Qureshi

He underlined the urgent necessity of addressing the grave situation in the IIOJK. Foreign Minister Qureshi extended an invitation to Mr Lavrov to visit Pakistan, which he gladly accepted.

The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in close contact and pursue enhanced cooperation in all spheres of common interest.

SCO meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers

In his remarks at the meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers, Mr Qureshi said the SCO was a vital platform for forging synergy with regional partners and realising benefits of emerging confluence between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasian Economic Union.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor supplemented the SCO’s vision of regional connectivity and economic integration. “We should not view development projects, including BRI and CPEC, through myopic geopolitical angles and should give them our full support,” he said.

Read more: CPEC’s potential to revolutionise regional cooperation and make Pakistan pivotal

Expressing delight on Pakistan’s membership of the SCO Youth Council, Mr Qureshi said over the past 20 years, the SCO had grown tremendously in stature, prestige and influence.

He asked the SCO members to work together to address the resurgence of fascist ideologies and violent nationalism anywhere in the world, especially in the region. The foreign minister called for pooling scientific and technical resources of SCO members to carry out joint research in diverse fields, particularly with a view to finding an effective vaccine for COVID-19. He also called for collective work to project the SCO as an effective forum for regional development.

Appreciating the Russian foreign minister for hosting the meeting, Mr Qureshi said despite formidable difficulties, Pakistan had continued fruitful collaboration in the SCO, marked by solidarity and mutual support, under the stewardship of the Russian Federation.

He called for countering the pandemic’s negative economic impact through the Global Initiative for Debt Relief for developing countries as proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also opposed politicising the pandemic and using it for stigmatising regions, religions or communities.

Mr Qureshi said the world today was becoming increasingly multi-polar with the competition between the old and emerging powers reshaping the contours of contemporary international relations.

Read more: South China Sea conflict: Far Off? No Pakistani position is important…

“It is our firm belief that in this uncertain and brutally competitive environment that is full of zero-sum prophecies, cooperation and not confrontation should be the driving force in international politics,” he said.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s position that the reform of the UN Security Council should be achieved through consensus for a more representative, democratic, effective and accountable council.

He said the peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes was a pre-requisite for achieving development, economic growth, poverty alleviation and social uplift of the masses.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources