Thu, 01 Dec 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 22 (ANI): Expressing his gratitude to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for inviting him to the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) meeting in Islamabad, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the two countries support each other's "core" interests.

Foreign Minister Wang was addressing a meeting of Foreign Ministers at the OIC and started the meeting by calling his Pakistani counterpart Qureshi "Bhaijaan" (brother), signifying the close strategic ties between the two countries.

"Equality is always the foundation of our interaction and mutual benefit is always the goal of our cooperation. Over the years we have always been committed to mutual respect and (we) trust and support each other's core concerns," Wang Yi remarked.

The comments are significant considering Pakistan's raising of the Kashmir issue at the multilateral forum, which it has over many years highlighted as one of its core concerns.

Speaking earlier, Pakistan's Shah Mahmood Qureshi had raked up the Kashmir issue at the conference saying that "the Muslim world is faced with conflicts in the Middle East, prolonged foreign occupation and denial of the right to self-determination, most notably to the people of Palestine and Kashmir."Saying that both the Chinese and the Islamic civilizations have had a major impact on the world for a long time, Wang reiterated China's multilateral initiatives with Pakistan and other Islamic countries.

Earlier on Monday, Wang had put forward four suggestions on the development of China-Pakistan relations, including firm support to each other's countries, 'integration' of economies, cooperation on counter-terrorism and closer multi-lateral cooperation.

"No matter how the international circumstances and the situation in both countries change, China will stick to its friendly policy towards Pakistan," Wang had said.

In reference to the China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC), Wang expressed support to Pakistan to "severely" punish the perpetrators of the "Dasu terror attack" in Pakistan which had killed 10 Chinese workers working on a hydroelectric project.

"The two countries should strengthen coordination on international and regional issues such as Afghanistan and Ukraine, jointly practice true multilateralism, earnestly safeguard the basic norms governing international relations, oppose power politics, bullying and unilateral sanctions, and make the international order fairer and more equitable," Wang said.

The 48th Council of the Foreign Ministers (CFMs) of the OIC began earlier today in Islamabad.

The summit is taking place under the theme, "Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development."Pakistani media said that over 100 resolutions will be considered during the two-day session. Although the meeting is being convened to promote OIC efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan is likely to rake up the issue of Kashmir even as it fails to speak about Shia Muslims in their own country. (ANI)

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