Asia - Pacific

Pakistani, Russian leaders discuss Mideast conflict, food security

Premier Kakar meets with Russian President Putin on sidelines of 3rd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

Amir Latif  | 18.10.2023 - Update : 18.10.2023
Pakistani, Russian leaders discuss Mideast conflict, food security Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar (L), who is in Beijing as part of the 3rd Belt and Road Forum, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) at the delegation meeting in Beijing, China on October 18, 2023. ( Photo Credit: Pakistan Prime Minister's Office )

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing to discuss a host of issues, including Middle East, terrorism, and food security.

Kakar, who met Putin on the sidelines of the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, is the third Pakistani premier to meet with the Russian president over the past year amid growing economic and diplomatic ties between the two erstwhile rivals.

Previously, former premiers Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif met with Putin.

The two leaders, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office, exchanged views on regional and global developments, including the evolving situation in the Middle East.

Kakar stressed the need for enhanced regional integration for the economic development of the entire region and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further expanding and strengthening bilateral cooperation with Russia in the areas of trade, investment, energy, connectivity, and counterterrorism.

Highlighting the ongoing cooperation in the oil and gas sector between the two countries, Kakar said Islamabad would welcome Russian investment in the energy field in Pakistan.

Pakistan has received its maiden shipments of crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Russia in line with a deal struck between the two countries earlier this year.

This January, Russia agreed to provide oil and gas to Pakistan at discounted rates in order to meet Islamabad's rising domestic and industrial energy needs.

Islamabad and Moscow, according to him, have a common stance on anti-terrorism issues.

Putin, for his part, said that Moscow desires to further enhance bilateral cooperation in different sectors with Islamabad.

This year, Pakistan and Russia are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

- Food security

On food security, Putin said Moscow is taking steps to "ensure" global food security, state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) reported.

He was apparently referring to the Black Sea grain deal brokered in Istanbul in July 2022 by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye, and the UN, creating a safe corridor through the Black Sea for exports from three Ukrainian ports halted since the war began in February of that year.

It helped rein in spiraling prices and ease a global food crisis by restoring the flow of wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer, and other products from Ukraine – one of the largest grain exporters in the world.

Moscow, however, refused to extend the agreement beyond July this year, saying parts related to its demands have “not been implemented so far,” referring to the removal of obstacles to its fertilizer exports, including the inclusion of the state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system.

He added that Moscow has chalked out a plan to provide grain, free of cost, to the poorest nations in Africa.

Meanwhile, Kakar also met with Kenyan President William Ruto to discuss ways to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the PTV reported.

He particularly discussed the ongoing investigation into the murder of a prominent Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, who was killed by Kenyan police in October last year in the suburbs of Nairobi.

Kakar requested the Kenyan president to release the report of the joint investigation team of Nairobi police on Sharif's murder.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.