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China is, was and will stay Pakistan’s reliable ally, says Qureshi

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BEIJING: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, after a meeting with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on Wednesday said Beijing had reaffirmed that it was and would always stay a close ally of Pakistan.

Qureshi reached China on Tuesday to attend the third round of talks of the ‘Foreign Ministers of Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan’.

In a video message after the one-on-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart today, Qureshi revealed that China had promised to strengthen Pakistan’s regional and strategic importance.

“I am immensely happy to share that the Chinese FM has given a nod of approval on the rollover of commercial loan as well.”

The $4.2 billion debt, which was maturing this week, has been rolled over providing major financial relief to Pakistan.

“The procedural formalities are being completed by relevant authorities,” the foreign minister said. “An announcement will be made as soon as they’re sorted.”

He added that China has also assured to help the country to counter the international shortage of diesel.

Moreover, the Chinese government, the FM said, appreciated the Organisation of Islamic Corporation’s suggestion of peaceful dialogue for negotiations in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said that Qureshi assured Pakistan’s support to the One China Policy and to core Chinese interests.

“Both the Foreign Ministers agreed that quality development of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and bilateral cooperation in areas such as industries, agriculture, and information technology is a manifestation of our multidimensional partnership,” it added.

It may be recalled that Pakistan had initiated the Neighbouring Countries format in September last year with a view to evolving a regional approach to the situation in Afghanistan. The first meeting, which was hosted by Pakistan, was held on September 8, 2021.

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