The National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, led a six-member delegation in a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Nikolay Patrushev, on December 1 in Moscow. In the NSA level meeting, matters pertaining to bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan came under discussion, with particular attention given to increased bilateral cooperation and the evolving situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan Embassy in Moscow stated that the NSA was called-on by his Russian counterpart for the talks.
Cooperation across multiple sectors, including defence, was stressed as the two sides discussed drug trafficking, cyber security, and energy cooperation, vying to improve the already strong ties.
The meeting also covered bilateral cooperation in economy, counter-terrorism, and collaboration among the defence ministries and law enforcement agencies. The two sides also agreed on continuous engagement on mutually important matters.
Pleasure to meet Excellency Nikolai Patrushev, my Russian counterpart. Held productive and successful delegation level talks covering bilateral and regional security issues. pic.twitter.com/CHn0tBhdgZ
— Moeed W. Yusuf (@YusufMoeed) December 1, 2021
Furthermore, an Increased collaboration at the international and regional forums, specifically the UN and SCO, were considered. The meeting also focused on the problems facing the region and the international community, particularly opinions were exchanged over the challenges faced in Afghanistan.
Concern over Afghanistan
The humanitarian crisis developing— after the American withdrawal— in Afghanistan was discussed in depth. With the two sides calling for the international community to take practical actions to avert the impending humanitarian crisis. Resolve over supporting all efforts to find lasting peace in Afghanistan was also conveyed.
Read More: PM Khan calls upon world to avert crisis in Afghanistan
The NSA expressed his satisfaction with the talks in a tweet from his official Twitter handle, calling them “productive and successful,” moreover declaring them “a testament to the strong Russia-Pakistan relationship and the two states’ commitment to further improving them.”
TASS newswire quoting the Russian Security Council Chief, Nikolay Patrushev, wrote that “concluding the consultations, Patrushev noted good dynamics of relations between Moscow and Islamabad, the effectiveness of their regular political dialogue, including that at the summit and high levels, and interaction within the framework of international organization.”
These discussions come against the backdrop of a dire economic situation in Afghanistan resulting from the international community’s decision to freeze Afghan funds after the Taliban takeover.
Read More: Extremism in Afghanistan will rise if economic crisis not alleviated: UN
The issue of recognition has also made headlines, as the international community, in an attempt to extract favorable outcomes in crucial issues of concern including, women’s rights and women’s education, has kept a constant pressure over the Taliban, which has burdened an already crippled economy.