BEIJING: Commenting on the developing relations between Pakistan and Russia, a Chinese expert on international affairs said Wednesday that both the countries can play a constructive role to bring peace and stability in the region, including Afghanistan.
“Both Pakistan and Russia have shared interests to see peace, stability and security in Afghanistan,” China Institute of International Relations Senior Research Fellow Jia Xiudong told China Global Television Network (CGTN).
The scholar remarked that the two countries could also use multilateral channels to enhance their dialogue, adding that Russia, China and Pakistan were already engaged in a trilateral dialogue concerning Afghanistan.
Xiudong said that Pakistan was now a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), hence both Russia and Pakistan could use this new channel to step up a dialogue process in connection with Afghanistan and try to bring key Taliban leaders back to the negotiating table.
Talking about Foreign Minister Muhammad Asif’s official visit to Russia and his bilateral consultations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, he said, “Russia and Pakistan have improved bilateral relations in the past few years. The latest US move to openly snub Pakistan has driven the country towards the Russian camp.”
He said that both Pakistan and Russia had not only agreed to enhance their political consultations but also to increase cooperation in economic, trade and investment areas.
“Both countries have agreed to build a pipeline to deliver natural gas and more fuel and energy to Pakistan, and they have also enhanced their defense cooperation,” he added.
Replying to a question, Xiudong remarked that Pakistan and China enjoyed a strong bond and the former’s relations with other countries could not end the friendship shared by both the countries, while adding, “China fully supports friendly relations between Pakistan and Russia.”