Friday, July 5, 2024

    FM Bilawal arrives in Goa to attend SCO meeting

    Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday arrived in Goa, India, to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting being held from May 4 to 5.

    The foreign minister was received at the airport by senior officials of the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    According to the Foreign Office (FO), the Pakistan delegation is attending the meeting at the invitation of India’s Minister for External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar who is the current chair of the SCO CFM.

    In a statement, the FO added that our participation in the two-day meeting reflects Pakistan’s commitment to the SCO charter, processes and the importance that Islamabad accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities.

    Prior to his arrival in the neighbouring country, the FM posted a video on Twitter and said that his “decision to attend this meeting illustrates Pakistan’s strong commitment to the charter of SCO”.

    He furthered that he looks “forward to constructive discussions with [his] counterparts from friendly countries”.

    Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also maintained that “Pakistan’s decision to attend the SCO Council of Foreign Minister’s meeting in India reflects our commitment to the SCO Charter [and] multilateralism.”

    A day earlier, Bilawal had held a consultation with the political leaders on his India visit.

    Bilawal Bhutto had called Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Convenor Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and took him into confidence regarding the visit. He also consulted other political leaders.

    The relationship between Pakistan and India has remained at a standstill despite efforts by the two sides to mend ties.

    FM Bilawal’s trip to India will be seen as an ice-breaking move, though it may not bring any dramatic changes in the bilateral relationship.

    It is believed that Pakistan took the decision considering the importance of the SCO. There were strong voices in favour of the visit given that Pakistan must not leave such important regional forums and provide India a chance to further isolate the country.

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