Pakistan and Russia want to improve ties: Murshed
MOSCOW: Pakistan Ambassador to Russia Sheikh Iftikhar Murshed on Sunday said Pakistan and Russia were eager to improve bilateral ties.
In an interview to Radio Moscow on the occasion of Pakistan Day, Mr Murshed said the establishment of the Pak-Russia working group against terrorism in December was “very important.”
To a question about the US-led war on Iraq, Mr Murshed said he did not believe in the use of force and supported the settlement of all disputes peacefully through diplomacy. He said the United Nations must be given a chance to play its role for the resolution of the Iraq crisis.
He said Pakistan and Russia were determined to improve bilateral ties especially after President Musharraf’s visit to the country earlier this year. Many projects to improve bilateral trade were signed during the visit, including an agreement regarding the extension of Pakistani metallurgy factories. He said the first part of the project worth $150 million would be completed in the next two and half years and the total cost of the project will be $900 million. He said the proposed visit of the president of the Russian commerce and industries sector would strengthen the trade relations between the two countries.
Mr Mushed said a bilateral inter-governmental commission had been established following the decisions made during the meeting between President Musharraf and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The first meeting of the commission would be held in the next few months, he said. He hoped the commission would help improve Pak-Russia relations.
Mr Murshed said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov would visit Pakistan later this year. The formal series of consultations between Pakistan and Russia will start in June in Islamabad. Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Reshu will lead the Russian delegation, he said. —NNI