• PM Shehbaz calls on need to convene IGC’s 9th session early. 
  • Seeks enhanced trade and investment ties with Russia. 
  • Russia also keen to enhance cooperation in education, culture.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed the need to enhance bilateral cooperation with Russia in a number of areas, particularly in energy, trade and investment in meeting with Ambassador of the Russian Federation Albert P Khorev.

Ambassador Khorev called on PM Shehbaz on Saturday and during the meeting, the premier urged the Russian side to send a delegation to Islamabad to hold discussions with their counterparts to identify ways to enhance the existing level of trade and investment ties between the two countries.

The PM also stressed the need for early convening of the 9th session of the Inter-governmental Commission (IGC), due to be hosted by Russia later this year.

While fondly recalling their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand in 2022, the premier reiterated his invitation to President Vladimir Putin to undertake an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

Meanwhile, the ambassador assured the premier that Russia wanted to build stronger ties with Pakistan. He added that Moscow was also keen to enhance cooperation in education and culture.

During the meeting, the prime minister expressed deep condolences on the loss of precious lives in the Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow, saying that Pakistan stood in solidarity with Russia at this tragic hour.

On March 22, at least 137 people were killed and 182 people were injured when militants belonging to Daesh attacked a music venue in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region, by opening fire on the concert-goers and setting the building ablaze.

Russian authorities arrested 11 people in connection with the attack including four armed men. President Vladimir Putin vowed to bring everyone involved to justice, declaring March 24 a national mourning day. 

The prime minister also thanked President Putin for the congratulatory message sent to him on his re-election.

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