ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Astana on Thursday to attend the 17th meeting of the Heads of State Council (HoSC) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kazakhstan.
PM Sharif was warmly received by Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mr. Akylbek Kamaldinov. He will represent Pakistan at the HoSC which is the highest decision-making body of the SCO that meets every year.
Pakistan is likely to be given full membership of the SCO during the two-day summit. Pakistan had applied for the membership in 2010, and has been an abserver since 2005. The decision to give membership to Pakistan was taken by the SCO Heads of States meeting held in Ufa, Russia in 2015.
Foreign Office said Pakistan fully subscribes to the Charter of SCO and the “Shanghai Spirit”, and shares with the SCO and member states, deep-rooted historical and cultural links, as well as strong economic and strategic relations.
On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, the Prime Minister will hold a number of bilateral meetings with other participating leaders. He is also expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit, who, Russian media reported, will support Pakistan for securing membership of the SCO.
Besides the SCO Summit, Kazakhstan is also hosting the International Expo 2017, in which more than 100 countries including Pakistan are participating. The Prime Minister along with other participating SCO Heads of States will also attend the inaugural ceremony of the Expo