ISLAMABAD: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will reach Pakistan on Tuesday on a two-day visit to hold important talks with the country’s top leadership and the Army chief on bilateral ties as well as on the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Lavrov’s visit will be the first by any Russian Foreign Minister in nine years and that he would personally go to the airport to receive him.
Lavrov visited Islamabad in 2012.
“There is no second opinion that Russia is an important country of this region his visit to Pakistan shows that our bilateral relations are taking a new turn,” Qureshi said in a video statement.
The two countries want to take forward the North South Gas pipeline project, which is under discussion for quite some time, he said, adding that the Pakistan Steel Mill was set up in Karachi with the Russian help and there was an opportunity to cooperate to pull it out of the current financial crisis.
Pakistan and Russia are playing a role in the Afghan peace process, Qureshi said.
He said Lavrov was coming to Pakistan after visiting India with which Russia enjoys historical ties.
“It can convince India to play a positive role in Afghan peace,” he said.
Qureshi said he would hold delegation-level talks with the visiting foreign minister who would later on meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Lavrov, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening on a nearly 19-hour visit, has held extensive talks with the country’s top leadership with a focus on various aspects of bilateral ties and preparations for the annual India-Russia summit.