Islamabad, November 20, 2014 (PPI-OT): On the invitation extended by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence Minister of Pakistan, Army General Sergei Shoigu, Defence Minister of the Russian Federation visited Pakistan on 20th November, 2014 to attend the signing ceremony of Agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Defence of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Military Cooperation. The visiting dignitary was accompanied by a 41 member high level delegation. He was received by Lt.
Gen (retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak, Secretary Defence alongwith Lt. Gen (retd) Tanvir Tahir Secretary Defence Production. Pakistan and Russia had useful interaction in the past which helped in understanding the security perspective of regional countries. Both Pakistan and Russia stressed on continuation of momentum gained during Moscow Conference and expressed satisfaction over convergence of views on most international and trans-regional issues.
Khawaja Muhammad Asif during the meeting appreciated Russia’s overtures in enhancing bilateral Relations with Pakistan. He added that strong ties between Pakistan and Russia will help in building stability and prosperity in the region. The signing of the Military Cooperation agreement between the two significant countries of the region is a milestone. “Both sides will translate this relationship in tangible terms and further strengthen military to military relations”.
Both sides expressed hope that the Agreement will pave the way for exchange of views and information on politico-military issues well as issues related to strengthening of mutual trust and international security, intensification of counter-terrorist and arms control activities, extension of relations in various fields of military education, exchange of experience in peace-keeping and interaction in peace-supporting operations under the United Nations auspices, Extension of relation in Military medicine, Military history, Military topography, Military hydrography and Military culture.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu appreciated the skill and expertise of Pakistani Armed Forces in fighting the war against terrorism. He further appreciated the defence production side stating that IDEAS it self signifies the leap Pakistan has taken in manufacturing defence equipment. “The world community not only praises but wants to do business with Pakistan now”.
During his stay, the visiting dignitary also held in-depth delegation level talks with Pakistani authorities besides calling on the Prime Minister. The first ever visit of the Defence Minister from Russian Federation has come at a very critical juncture when US led NATO forces are drawing down from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 Apart from promoting bilateral defence relations, the visit will enable both countries to join hands in bringing peace and stability in the region.
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