Pakistani President to visit Russia in May

Asif Ali Zardari will be in Russia from May 11 for talks on bilateral issues.

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2011, 20:02 PM IST

Islamabad: With an eye on energy and cooperation against terror, President Asif Ali Zardari will undertake a two-day state visit to Russia next month, a rarity for a Pakistani head of state.

Zardari will be in Russia from May 11 for talks on bilateral and regional issues, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar today said.

He said that the President will also pay a short visit to Kuwait before his trip to Russia but did not give any further details.

Russian Consul General, Andrey Demidov, had said in Lahore last week that there are possibilities of co-operation in energy sector during the upcoming visit of Zardari.

He said that Russia, being top energy supplier in the world, is ready to extend co-operation to Pakistan for overcoming energy shortages.

He also said that expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills in the port city of Karachi would be on top of the agenda during the visit. Russia had financed and built the steel mills in
70s.

Zardari will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on wide-ranging topics of bilateral and regional issues, focusing on economic matters and cooperation against terror.

The Russian diplomat said that a great potential exists for Pakistani businessmen in rice, fruits, pharmaceuticals, sports goods, leather, apparel, hosiery, home textiles and fabrics.

Local media has reported that both sides will sign several agreements to enhance cooperation in various fields. Pakistan and Russia, the foes of cold-war era, have not yet succeeded to make progress in relations despite high level exchange of visits.

Officials are hopeful that Zardari`s visit will help the two countries to explore ways how to boost bilateral cooperation.

PTI