Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will lead a Pakistani delegation to China tomorrow (Saturday) at the “Dialogue on Strengthening Connectivity Partnership”. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a weekly press briefing on Thursday that the dialogue has been organized by China prior to the 22nd Session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) Summit.
She said the Prime Minister’s participation in the dialogue underlines the importance Pakistan attaches to our bilateral relations with China and to the subject of connectivity in terms of infrastructure development and promotion of trade and investment.
The Prime Minister will have bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, she said. The spokesperson said a number of agreements and MoUs will also be signed during the visit. To a question about the details of the agreements and MoUs, she said she does not have exact titles, adding that they may mostly relate to energy sector.
To another query whether these agreements and MoUs are the same which were supposed to be signed during the postponed visit of the Chinese President, the spokesperson said that some of the Agreements and MoUs would be from that cluster. “Basically the purpose is that projects particularly energy projects which are very urgent- which we need to complete at the earliest. If the underlying question is whether this is a substitute visit for the Chinese President to Pakistan, then the answer is no,” she said.
She said that that visit of the Chinese President is very much on track. “We do not have dates but discussions between the two countries are continuing,” she added. Beijing is the host of the 2014 Apec Summit. The Dialogue is a Chinese initiative to invite non-Apec countries to discuss the vital regional subject of connectivity.
She said it is a welcome opportunity for countries like Pakistan to put across their point of view to a large audience at this important forum, adding that an agenda item of the Apec Summit is the subject of strengthening connectivity and infrastructure development among the Asia Pacific countries. “Pakistan hopes that the leaders attending the Dialogue will demonstrate vision, share experiences and wisdom, and work together to advance the Asia-Pacific connectivity,” she added.
Written by Ali Hussain