By Ishtiaq Rao
QINGDAO (China), June 9 (APP):Pakistan and China Saturday agreed to further strengthen all weather strategic cooperative partnership between both the countries and continue supporting each other on issues of core interest.
During a meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and President Xi Jinping held on the sidelines 18th Meeting of Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) here, the two leaders held in-depth discussions related to bilateral relations and regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The meeting took place at Qingdao International Conference Centre in Qingdao, a historical, cultural and international port city of Shandong province.
Both the leaders shook hands in front of the national flags of the two countries, before they held the meeting to discuss wide array of matters of mutual cooperation.
On his arrival at the venue, President Xi Jinping received President Mamnoon who was visiting China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping to participate in the SCO Summit.
During the meeting, President Mamnoon was accompanied by Secretary Foreign Affairs Tehmina Janjua, Ambassador of Pakistan in China Masood Khalid and senior officials. The Chinese president was also accompanied by his cabinet members and senior officials.
President Mamnoon congratulated President Xi Jinping on his re-election as president of People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of Communist Party of China.
He also congratulated China on hosting the SCO Heads of State meeting and wished it a resounding success.
He said Pakistan supported the Chinese chairmanship of SCO and appreciated the various initiatives proposed by China in the organization during the last one year.
President Xi Jinping appreciated Pakistan for its proactive participation in SCO since becoming a member.
On the bilateral relations, the two leaders highlighted that as all-weather strategic cooperative partners and close friends, Pakistan and China have always stood by each other and would continue to further strengthen this time-tested relationship.
They agreed to continue supporting each other on issues of core interest. Agreeing that Pakistan-China relations were a pillar of stability, the two presidents reiterated their resolve to maintain close engagement on all issues of regional and global importance.
President Xi said China attached importance to its relations with Pakistan which would continue to remain a priority for China.
Appreciating the Belt and Road Initiative and personal attention by President Xi Jinping to CPEC, President Mamnoon Hussain emphasized that as a flagship project, CPEC was a successful model of this initiative.
The two leaders agreed that early completion of projects would further contribute towards economic development of Pakistan.
They also agreed to explore ways to improve the balance of bilateral trade.
President Xi appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism and its role in peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
The two leaders also agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation on all issues of mutual interest.