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Pakistani official in Russia for strategic dialogue
Publication Date : 29-08-2013
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani was in Moscow on Wednesday for the first strategic dialogue between Russia and Pakistan. The strategic dialogue marks a new phase in their relations that have been characterised by a long history of estrangement.
The two-day dialogue would cover a wide range of issues including exchange of views on regional and international developments, and discussions on economic, political and defence cooperation.
Pakistan-Russia rapprochement has been quietly in the works for the past three years. There have been a number of high-level exchanges, both political and military, during this period, which essentially helped the two countries to move towards a reset in ties. The start of the strategic dialogue now lays the institutional framework for rebuilding the relationship.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was to visit Pakistan last September, but cancelled the trip at the eleventh hour due to unspecified reasons. However, the setback did not stop the normalisation process.
The Pakistan-Russia detente is driven by international developments in which both countries have policy convergences on a number of issues. Equally important is the fact that the detente is centred around growing defence relations between the two countries.
Pakistani Army Chief Gen Kayani visited Russia for the second time last year and Russian ground forces chief Col Gen Vladimir V. Chirkin was in Pakistan this month.