ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wherein he emphasized Pakistan’s unswerving focus on timely progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
During the “comprehensive telephone conversation,” the prime minister assured the Chinese Premier that Pakistan would provide a completely secure and conducive business environment for Chinese investors. “The two leaders’ discussion was characterized by warmth and cordiality, in keeping with the best traditions of the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership,” a PM Office statement said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz and Premier Li exchanged New Year greetings, noting that bilateral relations had grown to new heights in 2022, and agreeing to maintain the steady momentum of bilateral cooperation in 2023. Recalling his visit to China in November 2022 and wide-ranging conversations with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li, the prime minister underscored Pakistan’s commitment to fostering closer relations with China.
He reiterated Pakistan’s unstinting support on China’s core interests. Both the leaders also discussed regional issues of mutual interest. Premier Li Keqiang assured the prime minister that China viewed Pakistan not only as a strategic friend but as a country whose stability and economic welfare was of utmost importance to the region and to China.
China would always stand in solidarity with Pakistan, Premier Li added. Noting the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan being held in Geneva on January 9, PM Shehbaz briefed Premier Li on the latest progress in post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation in Pakistan. He conveyed Pakistan’s profound gratitude for China’s prompt and generous support for the flood-affected people.
Premier Li assured the prime minister of China’s continued support for Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and the success of the Conference. Both leaders agreed to maintain close communication to fast-track the bilateral cooperation agenda for mutual benefit of the peoples of Pakistan and China in 2023 and beyond.
Immense potential of growth in Pakistan-UK relations: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Thursday said that the Pakistan-UK relations were rooted in history, shared legacy and strong people-to-people bonds, which had gone from strength to strength. He said that the UK was Pakistan’s largest European trading, investment and development partner. He said that the trajectory of the bilateral relations between our two countries showed the immense potential for growth for the benefit of the two countries.
The Prime Minister made these remarks in his meeting with outgoing British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner who paid a farewell call on him at the Prime Minister’s House. The Prime Minister lauded the services rendered by Dr Turner for the promotion of Pakistan-UK ties, especially in the fields of trade, investment, and economic cooperation.