Moscow to continue boosting Pakistan’s counter-terror capacity: Lavrov



Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow will continue boosting Pakistan’s counterterrorism capacity, which is in the entire region’s interest.  

He was addressing a joint news conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif after a meeting in Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Minister said one of priority areas of our cooperation is anti-terror fight and Moscow will continue providing assistance in enhancing Pakistan’s potential to fight terrorism.

He said we have decided to continue the practice of joint tactical exercises Druzhba (Friendship) to drill skills of counter-terrorist organizations in mountainous conditions. The two countries will also form a commission for military cooperation.

Sergey Lavrov said Moscow sees good opportunities for trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan, primarily in energy.

Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Asif said the proliferation of Daesh’ in Afghanistan is a cause of alarm for Pakistan and Central Asia and Russia.

He said there are “monumental failures” in Afghanistan and there is an effort to scapegoat Pakistan and other countries for the shortcomings. Pakistan has rejected those allegations, and we cannot fight others wars’ on our soil.

The Pakistani foreign minister said both Pakistan and Russia have been making efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan supports the “role played by Russia in developing a regional approach to Afghanistan and efforts for eliminating IS.

He said we remain committed to fighting the menace of terrorism in cooperation with the international community including Russia.

He said there are opportunities for bilateral cooperation in military, technical and banking sectors between Moscow and Islamabad.

Earlier, at a meeting, the Foreign Ministers Pakistan and Russia have agreed to strengthen bilateral engagement and diversify cooperation in various fields.

The two sides agreed to further intensify efforts to deepen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, including trade, energy, defense, education, science and technology and people to people contacts. They also resolved to further build on enhancing coordination at multilateral fora.

The two countries reiterated that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan.