Samarkand, 15 September 2022 (TDI): Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met today in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO Summit 2022.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan thanked President Putin for Russia’s show of solidarity and support for the people of Pakistan hit by catastrophic floods. The Prime Minister also discussed the devastation caused by this climate-related disaster.

He expressed his delight with the steady strengthening of Pakistan-Russia relations, which he described as characterized by strong mutual trust and understanding.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to work closely with Russia to extend and strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, including food security, commerce and investment, energy, defense, and security.

It was resolved to have the next Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) meeting in Islamabad as soon as possible.

Appreciating Russia’s constructive role in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that both Pakistan and Russia had vital stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister said that it was essential to intensify the pace of international engagement in Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to supporting all regional and international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif went to Uzbekistan on a two-day visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s annual conference of heads of state on September 15-16.

Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov greeted Prime Minister Sharif upon his arrival at Samarkand International Airport.

According to the Russian state-owned news agency RIA, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday that pipeline gas deliveries to Pakistan are doable and that some of the required infrastructures are already in place.

SCO Summit 2022
Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, with Russian President Vladimir Putin
2022 SCO Summit

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a Eurasia-based political, economic, and security organization.

In terms of geographical scope and demography, it is the world’s biggest regional organization, spanning around more than half of Eurasia, and nearly half of the global population. It also makes up 30% of the global GDP.

The 2022 SCO Summit is held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Samarkand is well-known for its location on the ancient trade Silk Road route that connects China to the Mediterranean.

The SCO summit in Uzbekistan will assess the organization’s actions over the previous two decades and suggest areas where multilateral cooperation may be advantageous.

The geopolitical scenario in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the situation in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, would be discussed.

It is worth noting that this is the first in-person summit since the 2019 SCO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Leaders from SCO member countries will attend the 22nd Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State.

The SCO Secretary General, the Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), the President of Turkmenistan, and others are also expected to attend, according to the Observer.

Moreover, at the summit, Iran will be formally admitted to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.