Pakistan

CPEC has potential to bring SCO closer: Sartaj Aziz

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BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN: Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday underlined that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to serve as a vital link that would bring the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) a step close to achieve its vision of peace, security and economic integration in the region and beyond.

Aziz, while commenting during the 15th Heads of Government’s Council of the SCO, underlined the importance of regional connectivity for peace, stability and economic progress. He stated that Pakistan offers critical overland and maritime routes for trade and energy connectivity within the SCO region and beyond.

Aziz highlighted Pakistan’s success in counter-terrorism operations, which have led to improved security situation, higher economic growth rate and better investment climate in the country.  He said that Pakistan is ready to share its experience with the SCO.

He informed that Pakistan is looking forward to attend the next summit in Astana, Kazakhstan in June 2017 as a full member, and is completing the procedural steps required for membership ahead of schedule. The decision to grants full membership to Pakistan was taken in Ufa, Russia in July 2015.

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He underscored the importance of Pakistan’s formal accession as full member of the SCO and pledged full support to its policies and programmes.

The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Li Keqiang of China and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.

The Joint Communiqué issued at the meeting underscored the importance of connectivity within the SCO region.  They agreed on early implementation of SCO’s road transport agreements and conclusion of its Road Transport Programme.

The meeting agreed to make full use of the potential of inter-banks cooperation, creation of the SCO Development Fund and the SCO Development Bank to deepen cooperation in macroeconomics and finance.

Sartaj Aziz also met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, Foreign Minister Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich of Kyrgyz Republic, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour of Iran.

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