ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will participate in the 16th meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Sochi, Russia, from November 30 to December 1, 2017, on the invitation of the Russian Federation Prime Minister D A Medvedev.
This is the first SCO Heads of Government meeting that Pakistan would participate in after assumption of full membership in June this year. The meeting had been mandated to focus on the strategy, prospects and priorities for SCO’s developmental cooperation, a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday said.
At present, the SCO comprised of eight member states, including Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It had four observer states, including Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia, in addition to six dialogue partners, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
SCO objectives included building mutual trust, equality, respect for cultural diversity and good-neighbourly relations between member countries. It aimed to promote effective cooperation in the areas of political, security, trade, economy and social sectors.
It merits mention here that the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) had contributed largely towards maintaining regional peace, security and stability.
Prime Minister Abbasi would participate in the SCO retreat being hosted by the Russian prime minister along with other SCO counterparts. The retreat would be followed by a plenary session of the CHG, where Abbasi would deliver a speech.
At the plenary, the prime minister would outline Pakistan’s commitment to SCO’s objectives, including fighting terrorism/extremism and its sincere interest in ensuring regional peace, stability and development.
The meeting would conclude after a signing ceremony on different documents and a joint communiqué issued by the heads of delegations. Prime Minister Abbasi would also hold important bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.