Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari landed in Goa on Thursday to attend the Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers meeting scheduled to be held on May 4 and 5 in Goa.
"Looking forward to constructive discussions"
Stressing that his visit is focused on the SCO, Bilawal Bhutto said he is looking forward to constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries.
He said his decision to attend the meeting underlines Pakistan's strong commitment to the SCO charter. "On my way to Goa, India. Will be leading the Pakistan delegation at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization CFM. My decision to attend this meeting illustrates Pakistan's strong commitment to the charter of SCO," Bilawal tweeted a video on Thursday.
"During my visit, which is focused exclusively on the SCO, I look forward to constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries," Zardari added.
The Pakistan politician is attending the SCO conclave at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
1st foreign minister to visit India after a gap of nearly 12 years
Zardari will be the first foreign minister to visit India after a gap of nearly 12 years. In 2011, then Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited India.
The Pakistan High Commission in India today tweeted: "FM @BBhuttoZardari departs from #Karachi to participate in the #SCO Council of Foreign Ministers."
Previously, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during a weekly presser stated: "Our participation at the meeting reflects Pakistan's continued commitment to the SCO charter and process and the importance that Pakistan accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities."
Other Foreign Ministers in Goa
Earlier today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived at Goa's Dabolim airport to attend the two-day-long SCO Foreign Ministers' meeting.
Lavrov, who was accompanied by a delegation is scheduled to hold a bilateral with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Lavrov is also expected to have several bilateral meetings with his counterparts of other SCO countries.
The SCO Foreign Ministers' meeting which is slated for Friday (May 5) is significant because it is taking place amid the backdrop of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, particularly in the aftermath of an alleged assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin, which Russia has blamed on Ukrainians.
The theme of India's Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is 'Secure-SCO'. India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region.
SCO, an intergovernmental organization established in 2001.
The SCO members include Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides India.
(With inputs from ANI)