Pakistan urges diplomatic resolution of Ukraine conflict to ward off negative economic impact

MOSCOW: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday called for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict through diplomatic means saying that developing countries like Pakistan were facing consequences in terms of its economic impact.

“We have a firm belief that all conflicts can be resolved peacefully and there are no obstacles which diplomacy cannot surmount. Ukraine conflict is no exception. Developing countries like Pakistan are facing negative consequences of the conflict in terms of economic impact,” the foreign minister said addressing a joint press conference with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow.

He expressed the hope that the strong tradition of diplomacy of Russia would help achieve the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The foreign minister said Pakistan considered the Russian Federation an important player in the West, South and Central Asia, and would keep up high-level contact with it.

Apprising the media of their meeting, Foreign Minister Bilawal said their “friendly” and “detailed” discussion encompassed all aspects of bilateral relations and regional matters.

He said both countries were celebrating the 75th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic relations and that Pakistan desired to strengthen its cooperation with Russia in the fields of trade, security, defence, counter-terrorism, education, and people-to-people contacts.

He mentioned the summit-level meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand as well as the 8th Inter-Government Commission held in Islamabad which focused on trade, economy, and energy cooperation.

He said during their meeting, they also discussed bilateral cooperation at multilateral fora, including the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Foreign Minister Bilawal said Pakistan and Russia had “good cooperation” on Afghanistan, and wanted to achieve common goals of peace and stability in the war-torn country.

To a question on Pak-Russia energy cooperation, the foreign minister said the incumbent government was committed to coping with the country’s energy needs.

He said Pakistan valued its cooperation with Russia, the United States, and Europe, and it consistently called for dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes.

In his remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was satisfied over its military cooperation with Pakistan. Both countries were holding regular military contacts, including joint exercises and military training.

He said the elimination of terrorism from the region was directly linked with Afghanistan, and they had agreed to use the capacities of SCO, particularly its Contact Group on Afghanistan for the purpose.

The Russian foreign minister condemned the terrorist attack in the Peshawar mosque earlier in the day, and called for global cooperation for the elimination of terrorism.

He said during the meeting they discussed building humanitarian, cultural, and educational links.

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