‘Mamnoon-Xi meeting at SCO to be another high-level contact between Pak, China’

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BEIJING: Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid said on Monday that the upcoming bilateral meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping during the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Qingdao will be yet another high-level contact between leaders of all-weather strategic partners Pakistan and China during the last two months.

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had a bilateral meeting with President Xi during Boao Forum for Asia held in Boao town in the southern island province of Hainan, China in April this year, he said an exclusive interview to APP here.

He said the two leaders will sit together and undertake a review of the all-weather strategic relations, bilateral cooperation especially in the context of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is making smooth progress.

“Both the leaders will also discuss other areas of cooperation which are coming under the CPEC framework,” he added.

Ambassador Khalid informed that the President will lead Pakistan’s delegation and make a keynote address at the summit.

“The President, during the address, will define the outline of Pakistan’s perspective on the regional and international developments and the role Pakistan envisages to play in coming years,” he said, adding, “We will outline our perspective and role of Pakistan in this organization.”

He said the president will also meet foreign leaders of the SCO member states, and added, “This will give us an opportunity to review our bilateral cooperation with these countries.”

Ambassador Khalid said the upcoming summit is very important for Pakistan as this is the first SCO summit since the expansion of the SCO in June 2017 at the Astana summit in Kazakhstan, after India and Pakistan were accepted as full members.

He informed that the declaration of Qingdao summit will be signed by all heads of states as well as agreements and treaties during the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will chair the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit to be held on June 9-10 in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China’s Shandong Province.

Leaders of SCO member states and observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations, will attend the summit.

Jinping will chair meetings and exchange views with participants on the SCO’s current status and future development, cooperation in various areas under new circumstances and major international and regional issues.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of other member states will sign and release the Qingdao Declaration, and approve cooperative documents on security, economy, and humanity, including a three-year action plan on fighting the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

The declaration will draw lessons from the SCO’s experience of development since its establishment in 2001, continue to uphold the “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and the pursuit of common development, and boost solidarity and mutual trust among member states.

The Qingdao summit will lay out new plans to enhance the synergy of development strategies of member states, especially promoting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative to lift regional economic cooperation.

On security, the summit focus would be on the “three evil forces” (terrorism, extremism, and separatism), drug trafficking and cybercrime.

Since China took over the rotating presidency of the SCO last June, more than 160 activities including a series of important institutional meetings and multilateral events have been held so far.

The SCO was established in Shanghai in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members. With the inclusion of Pakistan and India, the eight SCO member states now account for more than 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half of the world’s population and over 20 percent of global GDP.