PM arrives in China to attend SCO summit

ZHENGZHOU:Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday arrived on a two-day visit to represent Pakistan at the 14th Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), being held here in the capital of the central Henan province of China.The prime minister is accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and other senior government officials.They were received at the Zhengzhou International Airport by China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid and other senior Chinese officials.Prime Minister Nawaz would deliver his statement at the 14th SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting on Tuesday. He would also join the SCO Heads of Government at the welcome reception hosted by China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang in honour of the heads of government of SCO member states and observer countries.The prime minister would also hold bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart on December 15 in which matters of mutual interest will be discussed.Nawaz’s visit emphasises Pakistan’s association with the nine-member organisation comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India and Mongolia, and its desire to deepen partnership with them.The SCO primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace economic and energy projects. Over the past few years, the SCO’s activities have expanded to military cooperation, intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism drills. It has also intensified its focus on Afghanistan, and may play a greater role in international efforts in the near future.


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