ISLAMABAD, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with the visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov here on Wednesday separately and both sides agreed to strengthen bilateral ties and deepen cooperation.
The Russian foreign minister arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral and regional matters.
A statement from the Prime Minister Office said that during the meeting, Khan reiterated that "the importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with Russia as a key foreign policy priority" and expressed satisfaction at the steady growth in bilateral ties.
Enhanced bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, industrial modernization, railways and aviation was discussed, the statement said.
The Pakistani prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan's resolve to expeditiously conclude the requisite legal process for the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline project and commence the work as early as possible.
Views were also exchanged on the health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and the Pakistani prime minister congratulated Russia on its development of Sputnik-V vaccine and underscored Pakistan's procurement plans in this regard, according to the statement.
In the regional context, Khan stressed the importance of a negotiated political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and appreciated Russia's efforts in promoting the Afghan peace process.
Earlier in the day, speaking at a joint press conference along with the Pakistani foreign minister, Lavrov said that his country is ready to further build counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan through supply of military equipment.
"This serves in the interest of all states of the region," Lavrov said, adding that both countries have agreed on conducting more joint military exercises.
Lavrov said the increase in bilateral trade is satisfactory and expressed readiness to "further strengthen economic relations."
The Russian foreign minister showed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. "Russia and Pakistan have agreed to further facilitate the agreement among Afghan parties through inclusive political dialogue," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan's resolve to build a strong multifaceted relationship with Russia.
"There is a new approach and mindset in Pakistan for a relationship with Russia. We feel that not just we have geographic proximity but Russia is a factor of stability in the region and the world at large," the Pakistani foreign minister said.