PM meets UN secretary general; talks with Afghan president soon


ASTANA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday held a meeting with the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

During his 45-minute meeting with the UN chief, issues related to Pakistan’s role in the war on terrorism and the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region. The UN chief also congratulated Pakistan on attaining permanent membership of the SCO, and hoped the move will bring more prosperity to the region.

Moreover, the premier is also expected to hold a one-on-one meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani today. The meeting, set to take place in the Afghan president’s suite, was not part of the premier’s original schedule and was reportedly asked for by the Afghan president.

The premier is on a two-day visit to Kazakhstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. The premier, along with other heads of states, is residing at the Ramda Hotel.

With the inclusion of Pakistan and India, the SCO will have a total of eight states as permanent members — after China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other observer states and governments and international organisations are also part of the group.

The group will then represent nearly half of the world’s population after the inclusion of the subcontinental neighbours.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meeting President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on June 8, 2017.
On Thursday, the prime minister held separate meetings with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

He also reportedly exchanged pleasantries with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, a bilateral meeting between the two is not part of the schedule of both prime ministers.