ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stressed the need for speeding up completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects at Gwadar to enable the port to achieve its potential. The foreign minister was speaking to China’s newly-appointed Ambassador Nong Rong who called on him here on Thursday, the Foreign Office said.

Qureshi underlined that Pakistan and China were “all-weather strategic cooperative partners” and both countries supported each other on the issues of their core interest. He thanked China for its steadfast support to Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, including at the United Nations.

The foreign minister maintained that the CPEC was a transformational project, and hoped that the ambassador, with his experience in trade and infrastructure development, would fast track the CPEC projects and promote industrialisation in Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasised that Pakistan and China should deepen and expand co-operation in the agriculture sector, providing opportunities for Pakistan to export its agricultural products to the Chinese market.

The foreign minister hoped that the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) would be fruitful and mutually beneficial, and would lead to inclusion of mega projects in the CPEC. He also emphasized the importance Pakistan attached to the ML-1 project.

It was particularly underscored by the foreign minister that the leadership and people of Pakistan were looking forward to welcoming President Xi Jinping, and that the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations must be celebrated in a befitting manner.

Lauding his experience and strong credentials, the foreign minister congratulated the ambassador on his appointment to Pakistan and hoped that Pakistan-China ties would further deepen and strengthen during his term.

During the meeting, Pakistan-China bilateral relations, cooperation in fighting Covid-19, the CPEC and matters of regional and international interests were discussed.

Ambassador Nong thanked the foreign minister for the good wishes conveyed by him and maintained that Pakistan was his second home. He emphasised that Pakistan-China relationship was anchor for peace, security and development in the region. He expressed his determination that China would firmly support timely completion of the CPEC, making it a High-Quality Demonstration Project of the BRI.