SOCHI, RUSSIA: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that Pakistan intends to play an active role in the peace, stability and development of the region.
PM Abbasi participated in the 16th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Sochi, Russia at the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
In the context of SCO’s Regional Anti Terrorist Structure (RATS), PM Abbasi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to support SCO in its fight against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
He appreciated revival of SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group to support Afghanistan’s efforts for peaceful political settlement and combating security and terrorism threats.
The council exchanged views on the contemporary economic situation and matters pertaining to economic development and regional integration among SCO member states were also considered.
Earlier, PM Abbasi also participated in a restricted meeting of SCO member states, where Pakistan’s presence for the first time as SCO full member was welcomed, with member states stating that the expansion of SCO with Pakistan and India further strengthened the organization.
Speaking at the both the restricted and extended meeting of the Heads of Government meeting, PM Abbasi thanked all member states for supporting Pakistan’s membership of SCO.
The prime minister added that Pakistan will work with SCO countries to foster a favourable environment for economic, trade, investment and technological cooperation. He also expressed interest in promoting cooperation in the field of energy.
PM Abbasi advocated the development of mutually beneficial, transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system under the ambit of SCO. He underscored that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) complemented SCO’s agenda of regional economic integration and connectivity.
Highlighting the importance of economic cooperation and regional connectivity, PM Abbasi offered to connect CPEC to the six main trade corridors of SCO which, he said, will fulfill the long cherished aspiration of regional land and marine connectivity between Eurasia, Central Asia, China and South Asia.
PM Abbasi also underscored the importance of strengthening future SCO cooperation in the field of multilateral trading system, trade facilitation and removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
Appreciating the efforts of SCO Business Council and Interbank Association, he called for early establishment of SCO Development Bank and Development Fund.
PM Abbasi urged further investment in the fields of health, tourism, education, sports culture and people-to-people contacts.
The prime minister also had bilateral meetings with his counterpart of Russia, China and Kyrgyzstan and interacted with the Heads of Government participating in the meeting.
The council adopted a number of decisions related to budget, financial and administrative matters of SCO. The joint communiqué issued focused on the economic, trade, energy, connectivity and social sector cooperation.