Pakistan: Foreign minister Qureshi on ‘very important’ trip to China

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today left for a two-day (August 20-21) visit to China to attend a strategic dialogue and discuss key bilateral and regional issues.

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In a video message, Qureshi said he was going on a “very important trip to China” and that he had a discussion with Prime Minister Imran Khan before leaving. Pakistan’s delegation would communicate the stance of the political and military leadership of the country, he said. Qureshi hoped that his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi would prove to be beneficial for both countries.

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The foreign minister, who is accompanied by senior officials, is on an official visit to China’s Hainan province to attend the second round of the China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue. Mr Qureshi will lead Pakistan delegation while State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will lead the Chinese side.

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Deepen strategic communication

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During the dialogue both sides will “discuss cooperation on COVID-19, bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest” the Foreign Office (FO) statement said. “The visit will play an important role in further strengthening Pakistan-China ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ and deepen strategic communication and coordination with China on a range of issues.”

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Diverse aspects of bilateral relations, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), investment and economic cooperation, regional security and international issues are to be discussed. Analysts believe that border issues with the mutual neighbour India would also be part of the agenda. Mr Qureshi is scheduled to return on August 21.

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The first meeting of the dialogue was held in March 2019 in which both the countries vowed to protect the US$62 billion CPEC initiative from all kinds of threats.

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At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Pakistan later this year.

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