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Pakistani PM leaves for Russia to attend SCO summit

11-07-2011 08:49 BJT Special Report:Premier Wen Attends SCO PM’s Meeting in St. Petersburg |

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani left for the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Sunday to attend the session of the Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States, officials said.

The meeting will be held on Monday and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had invited Gilani to the summit, according to the Prime Minister's office.

The session will discuss issues of coordination among the countries amid acute problems faced nowadays by the world economy to determine further steps aimed at developing trade, economic and humanitarian ties between the SCO member states, observers and other regional partners, it said.

The Russian Prime Minister also expressed his desire in the letter to meet Gilani on the occasion of the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting at Saint Petersburg.

Putin said that he is confident that the forthcoming session will promote the intensification of cooperation between the SCO member states and Pakistan.

The SCO, an intergovernmental mutual-security organization, was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan has the status of observer along with India, Iran and Mongolia.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the country is desirous of becoming a full member of this forum on account of its immense potential for dealing with common challenges. The Prime Minister will seek support of the member states for Pakistan's quest to become the SCO member.

Gilani's visit will also afford an opportunity to exchange views with Putin, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations are characterized by increasing mutual trust and commonality of interests. There is a strong desire on both sides to deepen and expand bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit," it said.

"The SCO is an important regional security organization whose profile and scope of agenda has assumed great importance over the years," the statement said.

The SCO deals with issues of common regional concern, including regional trade, connectivity, energy cooperation, security-related collaboration, drug trafficking as well as extremism and terrorism.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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