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China ready to roll over Pakistan’s commercial loans

Qureshi says Pak-China ties cornerstone of country’s foreign policy

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday said that his country was ready to roll over the commercial loans of Pakistan.

He conveyed this during his talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Huangshan, Radio Pakistan reported. Later, Qureshi also confirmed China’s willingness and said that an official announcement about the roll-over of these loans would be made once procedural requirements were completed by the authorities concerned.

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A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) after the meeting quoted Qureshi as stressing that relations with China were the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. The meeting took place during the foreign minister’s visit to China to attend the third meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the two ministers exchanged views on bilateral strategic, economic and security cooperation during the meeting.

The meeting also discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

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Qureshi reaffirmed the government’s resolve to further deepen the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. He reiterated Pakistan’s firm adherence to the “One-China” policy and continued support on issues of China’s core interests.

The foreign minister thanked China for its consistent support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political stability and socio-economic development.

Recalling the recent high-level exchanges between the two sides, including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Minister Yi’s visit to Islamabad to attend the OIC-Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting, he expressed satisfaction at the steady upward trajectory of Pakistan-China relations.

He highlighted that the leaders’ consensus was translating into high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Phase-II, and burgeoning cooperation in diverse areas of cooperation like industrial development, agricultural modernisation and information technology.

Thanking China for hosting meetings on Afghanistan, Qureshi stressed the need for deeper engagement between both the countries, as well as Afghanistan’s other neighbours, to promote peace, stability and development in the country and facilitate regional connectivity through the extension of CPEC to Afghanistan.

The two sides also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine. Highlighting Pakistan’s position calling for an immediate cessation of hostility, provision of humanitarian assistance and continued efforts for a solution through dialogue and diplomacy, Qureshi conveyed readiness to help facilitate a diplomatic solution, including through the OIC platform.

Separately, Qureshi met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and hoped that talks between Russia and Ukraine would succeed in finding a diplomatic solution.

Qureshi shared Pakistan’s principled position on the situation in Ukraine, including cessation of hostilities, provision of humanitarian assistance, and efforts for a solution through dialogue and diplomacy. In the context of the discussions held during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Moscow and their own telephone conversation earlier this month, the two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on the regional situation. Meanwhile, referring to the frequent high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Iran, Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas. He also underscored the importance of early completion of border markets in the context of enhanced bilateral economic cooperation.

On the side-lines of the ministerial meeting of the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Qureshi met Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a press release.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers had a comprehensive review of bilateral relations and the regional situation.

The foreign minister also briefed him on the unprovoked violation of Pakistan’s airspace by an Indian supersonic missile, underlining that such actions were fraught with grave implications and represented a serious threat to regional peace and stability.

On the situation in Afghanistan, the foreign minister highlighted that as neighbours, Pakistan and Iran had been closely coordinating. Pakistan would continue to play its role for the political and economic stability of Afghanistan, which would ultimately benefit the entire region, he added.

Qureshi hoped that the Joint Economic Commission session would be held at the earliest to boost trade and economic collaboration between the two countries.

He also expressed satisfaction with the facilitative movement of trucks under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) [International Road Transport], which would further strengthen economic linkages in the region.

Qureshi appreciated Iran’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause, especially at the supreme leader level.

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