Islamabad, 5 January 2023 (TDI):  Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, and Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China had a detailed phone conversation.

The discussion between the two leaders was warm and cordial, in line with the best traditions of the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

The two counterparts exchanged New Year greetings, noting that bilateral relations had reached new heights in 2022 and agreeing to keep the momentum going in 2023.

Recalling his November 2022 visit to China and extensive discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li, the Prime Minister emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to fostering closer relations with China.

He reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering support for China’s core interests. The two sides also talked about regional issues of mutual interest.

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The Prime Minister emphasized Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the on-time completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

In this vein, he gave the Chinese Premier assurances that Pakistan would ensure complete security and an environment that was favorable for doing business.

While Premier Li Keqiang gave the Prime Minister the reassurance that China saw Pakistan as a country whose stability and economic welfare were of the utmost importance to the region and to China, in addition to being a strategic ally.

Premier Li further stated that China would always stand in solidarity with Pakistan, noting that the International Conference on Climate-Resilient Pakistan would be held in Geneva on January 9.

The Prime Minister gave Premier Li an update on the state of Pakistan’s post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts and expressed Pakistan’s sincere gratitude to China for its prompt and generous assistance to flood victims.

Moreover, the Chinese Premier gave the Prime Minister reassurance that China would continue to support Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and the conference’s success.

In order to move the bilateral cooperation agenda forward quickly for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries in 2023 and beyond, both leaders agreed to keep in close contact.