Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will leave for China today for a two-day visit (May 21-22), at the special invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
This will be Foreign Minister Bilawal’s first bilateral visit abroad since assuming office last month. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and senior officials will be part of his delegation. During the visit, the foreign minister will hold extensive consultations with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two leaders will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.
Fast-tracked progress on the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative, will also feature in the discussions. The two sides will also have a wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues. Foreign Minister Bilawal’s visit will also coincide with the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
State Councilor Wang Yi had written a letter of congratulations to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on his assumption of the office of foreign minister. The two foreign ministers had previously held a virtual meeting on May 11. The foreign minister’s visit is part of the high-level exchanges between the two sides, which recently also included a message of felicitations to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif from Premier Li Keqiang, and a telephone conversation between the two premiers on May 16, 2022.
Separately, while thanking US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for her keen interest in strengthening Pakistan-US ties, Foreign Minister Bilawal invited her and the Congressional Caucus to visit Pakistan. In a meeting with her on Thursday, on the sidelines of ‘Global Food Security Call for Action’ and the Security Council’s open debate on ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security Conflict and Food Security, the foreign minister had lauded Congresswoman Jackson for her outstanding leadership of the US Congressional Pakistan Caucus.
The congresswoman appreciated the vision of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for advancing Pakistan-US relations. Appreciating the work of the congresswoman, the foreign minister said that she was the greatest advocate of Pakistan-US relations. He said that he would pursue engagement with the US and soon visit Washington DC to unlock the true potential of the bilateral ties.
He noted that ties between Pakistan and the US had cemented through enhanced interaction and exchanges between the leadership, parliamentarians, students and people to people contacts. Foreign Minister Bilawal and the congresswoman discussed cooperation in climate change, CT, humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and ease of travel between Pakistan and the US.