Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto to attend SCO meeting in Goa

On Thursday, official confirmed that Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will visit India this May for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Goa.

According to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Bhutto-Zardari will lead the Pakistani delegation to the SCO Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting, which will take place in Goa on May 4-5. Bhutto-Zardari is attending the SCO-CFM meeting at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, according to Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, who made the announcement during a weekly press conference on Thursday.

“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,” the spokesperson said.
Bilawal will be the first foreign minister to visit India after a gap of nearly 12 years, reported Business Recorder. In 2011, then Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar had visited India.

India has formally sent invitations to all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including Pakistan and China for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting.

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are also likely to participate in the meeting.India took over the chairmanship of the 9-member mega grouping in September last year and will be holding key ministerial meetings and the summit this year.

Relations between the two countries have been precarious for many years with regard to issues of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, even as Islamabad has been seeking the restoration of Article 370 for the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for any talks.

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