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‘China attends OIC meeting to boost multilateralism’

Wang Yi, Qureshi discuss bilateral cooperation, regional situation and international issues

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday said he was attending the 48th meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), starting from today (Tuesday), for developing a partnership with the Muslim world, besides promoting unity and cooperation for the multilateralism.

The Chinese dignitary, after his bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told the media that the CFM’s theme of “Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development” had great significance in the current scenario and was also the main purpose of Chinese participation.

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In what Qureshi called a “very comprehensive and detailed meeting,” the two foreign ministers discussed bilateral cooperation, regional situation as well as international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine. Qureshi told the media that it was for the first time the Chinese foreign minister would attend and address the CFM moot, which manifested the strong partnership between Pakistan and China.

Earlier, both the countries also signed documents for enhancing cooperation in the fields of higher education and agriculture at a ceremony also witnessed by the two foreign ministers. Qureshi said they also discussed the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan, while the Chinese FM assured him of a review, considering the changed situation in the war-torn country.

While discussing trade and investment cooperation, Qureshi said, China expressed the desire for the export of Pakistani rice and wheat in order to enhance the country’s exports. The two foreign ministers discussed counter-terrorism cooperation and a coordinated approach to deal with terrorist outfits, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

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Wang Yi spoke high of Pakistan’s steps for the security of Chinese nationals in Pakistan and lauded the strict action against those involved in Dasu terrorist attack, in which Chinese nationals lost their lives. Qureshi thanked China for supporting Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and told media that the Chinese FM had assured the country of its constant support until its removal from the Grey List. Wang Yi, who is on his first visit to Pakistan after the COVID-19 pandemic, said China would expand its support to Pakistan in poverty reduction and modernising the agriculture sector for sustainable development. He called for closer multilateral cooperation on regional and international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Separately, Qureshi held a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirodjidin Muhridinovich wherein he reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the early completion of the flagship project of CASA-1000. During the meeting, the foreign minister stressed the need for promoting trade and economic linkages with Tajikistan.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction at the steadily growing bilateral ties and exchanged views on further expanding the partnership.

Meanwhile, the OIC and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) on Monday signed the Charter of Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan to raise donations for the people of the country suffering a humanitarian crisis. OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha and President IsDB Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser inked the charter, witnessed by Qureshi. The creation of the fund was mandated by the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad on December 19, 2021.

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