BEIJING: China said on Wednesday it has invited Pakistan’s Foreign Minister for talks, in an apparent move to assuage Islamabad’s concerns after the BRICS countries for the first time named Pakistan-based militant groups like LeT and JeM in the grouping’s declaration.
Foreign Minister Mohammed Asif will pay an official visit to China on September 8, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. Chinese leaders will meet Asif and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him, he said.
“China and Pakistan are all weather strategic partners. The two sides have seen their relationship growing with a sound momentum, frequent high level exchanges and fruitful outcomes of political cooperation,” he said.
Asif was supposed to travel to China, Russia, Turkey and Iran this week to drum up support for Islamabad after US President Donald Trump warned Pakistan of consequences if it continues to support terror groups.
Asif’s visit will be “another important event between the two sides which will further the cooperation consensus reached between the two leaders, deepen political cooperation centered on the China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) and promote coordination and communication on international and regional affairs,” he said.
India has protested to China over the USD 50 billion CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
“Two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest,” he said.
China has blocked the resolutions tabled by India and later by the US, backed by the UK and France, in the UN by putting repeated technical holds.
Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the BRICS declaration, saying there was no “safe haven” for terrorists on its soil.