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Pakistan resolved to advance cooperation with SCO on security, development: Deputy PM Dar

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BEIJING: Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday expressed Pakistan’s resolve to advance cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on security and development, the Foreign Office (FO) said.

The development comes as the foreign minister met with SCO Secretary General Ambassador Zhang Ming in Beijing, where he arrived earlier today.

According to Radio Pakistan, Dar reaffirmed Pakistan’s “unwavering commitment” to the SCO charter and the organisation’s “fundamental ideals as enunciated in the ‘Shanghai Spirit’”.

The deputy PM stressed the collective responsibility of the SCO member states to collaborate effectively and harness the collective potential for sustained progress and prosperity of the SCO region, the report added.

Pakistan’s initiatives and contributions to SCO were also discussed, with Ambassador Zhang expressing support and best wishes to Pakistan during its tenure as the current chair of the SCO Council of Heads of Government.

Earlier today, Dar arrived in Beijing to co-chair the 5th Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue, the Foreign Office (FO) had said in a post on X.

Upon his arrival, the deputy PM was received by Ambassador Wang Fu Kang and Pakistan’s envoy to China Dr Khalil Hashmi.

In a press release issued earlier, the FO had said Dar would visit China on a four-day trip from May 13 to May 16.

The two sides would comprehensively review bilateral affairs, including economic and trade cooperation; high-level exchanges and visits; upgradation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and future connectivity initiatives, it had said.

Dar and Wang Yi would also exchange views on the “unfolding regional geopolitical landscape and bilateral cooperation at the multilateral fora”.

The FO had said that the foreign minister’s visit was part of “regular high-level changes” between the two friendly nations.

“It reflects the importance attached by the two countries to further deepening the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’; reaffirming mutual support on issues of core interest; enhancing economic and trade cooperation including CPEC; and reinforcing joint commitment to regional peace and development,” it had highlighted.

The visit to Beijing is Dar’s first since the PML-N-led government came to power after the February 8 general elections.

It follows Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s visit to China last week, undertaken to pursue existing investors and financial institutions, and to tap in more firms in the transmission and distribution network as part of CPEC’s second phase.

Earlier, Dar and Zheng Jianbang, the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, had met on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in The Gambia.

There, the neighbours had expressed the determination to further enhance and upgrade cooperation on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

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