Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif to visit China in November


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will travel to China in November and has also accepted an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Moscow, the country’s defence ministry said on Saturday.
Addressing a news conference, defence minister Khawaja Asif said Chinese President Xi Jingping had extended an invitation to Sharif to visit China during a meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, which concluded on Friday.
Sharif will visit China in the first week of November, he said.
Asif said Russian President Vladimir Putin has also invited the Prime Minister to visit Moscow and this tour will also take place.
The defence minister said during the talks between Xi and Sharif, the Chinese President described Pakistan as an all-weather strategic friend and reiterated the commitment to vigorously take forward the $60-billion China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Khawaja Asif said Putin during his meeting with Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit appreciated Pakistan’s position on Ukraine.
Asif said the SCO members have expressed readiness to support Pakistan, which is facing unprecedented floods.
Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.
Pakistan enjoys close ties with China, while it has been trying to improve relations with Russia. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan had also visited Moscow this year but his trip was marred as it coincided with Russia launching an attack on Ukraine.


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