ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi departed Islamabad on Thursday to participate in the 16th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Sochi from November 30 to December 1 on the invitation of Prime Minister of Russian Federation DA Medvedev.
It is the first SCO Heads of Government meeting that Pakistan will attend after assumption of full membership of the organisation in June this year.
The meeting is mandated to focus on the strategy, prospects and priorities for the SCO’s developmental cooperation.
Abbasi, along with his SCO counterparts, will participate in the SCO retreat being hosted by the Russian prime minister.
The retreat will be followed by a plenary session of CHG where the prime minister will deliver a statement.
At the plenary, Abbasi will outline Pakistan’s commitment to SCO’s objectives, including fighting terrorism and extremism and its sincere interest in regional peace, stability and development.
The meeting will close on a signing ceremony of decisions and a joint communiqué by the heads of the delegations.
Abbasi will also hold important bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.
The SCO now comprises eight member states, including Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It has four observer states: Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia, and six dialogue partners, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
The SCO’s objectives include building mutual trust, equality, respect for cultural diversity and good-neighbourly relations.
It aims to promote effective cooperation in the areas of political, security, trade, economy and social sectors. SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure contributes towards regional peace, security and stability.