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Pakistani PM to attend SCO summit in Russia


14:21, November 01, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will attend the Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States session in St. Petersburg on November 7, an official announcement said on Monday.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has invited Gilani to the summit, according to the statement from the Prime Minister office.

It is planned to discuss at the session 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.

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

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.

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.

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

"Pakistan-Russian 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.

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