By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will reach the Chinese capital Beijing on Sunday to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers meeting on April 24.
According to Foreign Office, Asif is expected to meet SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and other foreign ministers of SCO member states on April 23.
“The Council of Foreign Ministers will discuss issues related to peace and security at the international and regional level and promotion of cooperation between member states and finalize preparations for the forthcoming SCO Heads of State Council in Qingdao,” foreign office spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal said.
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will also reach Beijing Sunday and is expected to meet her Chinese counterpart on the same day.
According to Indian media , Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to convince Swaraj to review Indian policy on the Belt and Road Initiative and become a part of the newly purposed China-Nepal-India economic corridor.
The SCO meeting will be chaired by Wang Yi and attended by the foreign ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India as well as Alimov and SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Executive Committee Director Yevgeniy Sysoyev.
Pakistan and India were given the status of full members of the SCO last year in the Astana summit.
SCO also comprises Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia as its observer states whereas Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are the dialogue partners.
SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.