Russia seeks to expand ties with Pakistan: Lavrov

Islamabad: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday said his country seeks to expand its relations with Pakistan as close cooperation would bring stability to the region, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

Pakistan’s top National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, who is also looking after Pakistan’s foreign affairs, said in his response that there is a consensus in Pakistan for improving relations with Russia, Xinhua reported.

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The two leaders met in Moscow during Sartaj Aziz’s visit Friday.

Pakistan and Russia had been rivals of the Cold War era. However, a substantial improvement in relations has been witnessed in recent years.

“Both the leaders agreed that the positive role of recent and forthcoming high-level exchanges between the two countries would help in moving forward this objective,” the foreign ministry said.

The two leaders also agreed that there was considerable scope for cooperation in the field of energy.

The Russian foreign minister welcomed Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif’s recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed the hope that constructive dialogue and improved relations between the two countries would be beneficial for the security and stability of the region.

They agreed that the forthcoming summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe in September would provide a useful opportunity for discussing the emerging situation in the post-2014 Afghanistan.

Lavrov said that Russia fully supported Pakistan’s entry into SCO as a full member.