News Network International (Pakistan)
Pakistan, Russia to finalize bilateral investment treaty: PMs
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia Thursday agreed to finalize a bilateral investment treaty and agreement on avoidance of double taxation with an objective to expand their trade and economic ties.
The two sides agreed during official talks between Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Fradkov in Islamabad.
Addressing a joint news conference both the Prime Ministers vowed to further strengthen Pak-Russia bilateral ties and expand their cooperation in various fields especially in trade and economy.
Prime Minister Aziz said they have discussed wide ranging issues including matters of bilateral interests and regional and international affairs and found commonality of views.
“Both the sides also agreed to promote trade ties and considered to use Iran as a corridor between the two countries for this purpose,” Mr. Aziz said. He said they also discussed energy cooperation between the two countries including exploring of oil, gas and coal and hydel power generation.
He said Russia is global player in international politics and Pakistan desires to have strong and long-term relations with it hoping that the visit of Russian Prime Minister will pave way for these relations.
The Prime Minister said that both the leaders have had extensive round of talks and held fifty minutes one on one meeting besides two and a half hour delegation level talks and covered wide ranging issues to expand mutual cooperation.
He said they also discussed regional issues including Afghanistan and relations China, India and Iran besides ways and means to bring peace in Middle East by resolving the outstanding issues.
“Pakistan believes that strong relations with Russia are important objective of its foreign policy”. He said both the countries desire peace and better future of their people and stressed during the talks to promote economic diplomacy and expanding cooperation in war on terrorism and extremism.
The Russian Prime Minister in his statement expressed satisfaction over the result of his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart and said both sides also agreed to broaden their cooperation in the areas of scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.
“Russia believes that in future both the countries need regular consultations for expanding ties with Pakistan”.
He said that he has discussed with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to build cooperation to combat terrorism and stressed the need for enhanced cooperation in this regard to respond the challenges.
Mr. Fradkov stressed the need to intensify work on reactivation of Inter-Governmental Commission to further expand and cement bilateral ties.
Answering questions he expressed dissatisfaction over the trade volume between the two countries and emphasized to put additional efforts to give a boost. He hoped that a high level visit after almost forty years will go a long way in building a concrete and long-standing partnership with Pakistan.
“We touched almost all important issues for development of our relations”.
To another question he said Pakistan is one of the important countries in Russian Foreign Policy due to its role in the region and Islamic community.
To yet another question he said matter of Iranian nuclear issue also came under discussion and Russian intention is to Iran for use its nuclear programme under IAEA for peaceful purposes. He said Pakistan and Russia have common approach on the nuclear non-proliferation.
Responding another question he said he has also discussed Kashmir issue with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz besides other issues with India and during the meeting Mr. Aziz briefed him about the results of his visit to India and talks with Dr. Manmohan Singh.
To another question he said our task is to translate our talks held today into reality and build strong relations and work for stability and peace in the region.
Responding questions Mr. Shaukat Aziz said Pakistan will welcome Russian participation in India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project through investment in laying the pipeline. He said the project is under discussion and all stakeholders are moving in the right direction and it was also discussed during the meeting. He said Pakistan will also welcome Russian investment in up-gradation of Pakistan Steel.