ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan is eagerly looking forward to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping, in the hope that it would help the two neighbouring countries to achieve the dream of building a ‘Pakistan-China Community of Shared Destiny’.
While welcoming Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on his first official visit to Pakistan, the prime minister said friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He also emphasised that China had always been a sincere friend of Pakistan.
Wang informed the premier that the purpose of his visit was to do preparatory work for President Xi’s trip later this year. Nawaz said his government believed President Xi’s visit would further strengthen the all-weather strategic partnership between the two states.
Pakistan and China are celebrating 2015 as their ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’ which has formally begun with the visit of the Chinese foreign minister. It would be followed by a series of high-level bilateral visits from both sides.
The prime minister said Pakistan attributed high importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and expressed the confidence that President Xi’s visit would help fast-track the project. He added that security of the Chinese nationals working in Pakistan was a high priority and special arrangements were being made for them.
Foreign Minister Wang thanked the Pakistan government for taking measures for improving security of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country. He also conveyed greetings of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping to Nawaz.
Matters of mutual interest, including economy, security and regional developments in the backdrop of changing international scenario, would be discussed during President Xi’s trip, Wang said.
He also said Pakistan and China were iron brothers and frequent bilateral exchanges have further strengthened this relationship. The twin menaces of terrorism and extremism are the common enemy of both the countries and Beijing would continue its cooperation with Islamabad in successfully tackling this challenge.
Chinese FM meets army chief
Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met army chief Gen Raheel Sharif at the GHQ in Rawalpindi. The issues from regional security to enhanced bilateral defence to security cooperation between the two countries came under discussion.
Wang appreciated progress of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency. The meeting was followed by a roundtable delegation level discussion which included senior officials from both sides.