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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for being here this afternoon.

Let me begin by welcoming our good friend, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his delegation, to Islamabad. His visit is especially significant in view of the ‘Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Exchanges.’

Today, we had a very useful and productive exchange of views on a wide range of issues. Pakistan’s relations with China are the cornerstone of our foreign policy. The visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi provided us with a valuable opportunity to discuss all aspects of our ‘multi-dimensional, strategic and comprehensive partnership.’

In our discussions, we took stock of the progress made in bilateral relations, including political, strategic and economic cooperation. We identified areas for further consolidation of the ‘all weather’ relationship between Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed the resolute steps taken by Pakistan to counter the menace of terrorism. Both countries agree that terrorism is a serious challenge to global peace and stability. Pakistan greatly appreciates China’s continued support to our candidature for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi informed us that President Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan at an early date. This is welcome news. President Xi will be warmly welcomed to Pakistan. In this regard, we exchanged broad ideas to commence the substantive preparations for the visit.

We agreed on the importance of operationalizing the energy and infrastructure early harvest projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as early as possible. I am glad to say that both countries are convinced of the dividends of economic cooperation. Both sides are fully committed to add greater depth to the all-weather, friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries.

We also discussed the regional situation and the need for strategic balance in South Asia. I informed the Foreign Minister that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all its neighbours including India.

I also briefed Foreign Minister Wang Yi about several positive developments in the past months that have helped improve Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan. We agreed that Pakistan and China should work together to promote peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

With these brief remarks, I invite Foreign Minister Wang Yi for his comments.
Islamabad
12 February, 2015

43/2015
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