Putin phones PM Imran Khan to discuss evolving situation in Afghanistan

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Russian President Vladmir Putin Wednesday spoke to Prime Minister Imran Khan over the phone on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and bilateral relations, as per the Prime Minister’s Office. 

PM Imran Khan told Putin that a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan was important for Pakistan and vital for the region. He said that an inclusive political settlement, coupled with the safety and security of Afghans, was the best way forward. 

The prime minister stressed that the international community must stay engaged in Afghanistan to support its masses, adding that the world needs to address its humanitarian crisis and ensure economic sustenance. 

Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan attached high importance to the role of the Troika Plus format. He expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations, with increased high-level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse fields between the two countries. 

The prime minister reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen trade relations and bilateral collaboration in the energy sector, including the early realisation of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project. The two leaders agreed to closely cooperate within the SCO to promote regional peace and security.

During the telephonic conversation between the two leaders, PM Khan invited Putin to visit Pakistan. 

Putin phones Xi Jinping, speak on preventing ‘spread of instability to adjacent regions’

The Russian president also spoke to his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, on the need to prevent instability from spreading to other parts of the region, as per a statement from the Kremlin. 

In a phone call, the two leaders “expressed their readiness to step up efforts to combat threats of terrorism and drug trafficking coming from the territory of Afghanistan,” the Kremlin said.

According to international media reports, Putin and Xi “agreed to intensify bilateral contacts” and “make the most of the potential” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is due to convene for a summit in Tajikistan next month.

Several ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia — where Moscow holds military bases — share a border with Afghanistan and China. While Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the new leadership in Kabul, Putin has warned of Afghan militants entering neighbouring countries as refugees.

The two leaders also spoke about the coronavirus situation, with Jinping saying that China is ready to work with Russia to deepen cooperation on vaccine development and production and ensure the safety and stability of the global supply chain for vaccines, to protect the lives and health of the two peoples and contribute to the building of a community of common health for mankind.

“Only the wearer knows whether the shoes fit or not,” Xi stressed, saying that it is the people of the two countries who have the most say about which system works in their own country. “As comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era, China and Russia should deepen cooperation against interference and firmly hold their respective national future in their own hands,” Xi said.

He said China firmly supports Russia in pursuing a development path that suits its national conditions, and firmly supports Russia’s measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and security.

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