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Pakistani premier due in Beijing for Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Pakistani premier due in Beijing for Winter Olympics opening ceremony
Foreign minister says Feb. 3-5 visit aims to express solidarity with Beijing as some Western countries boycotted

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next week to attend the opening ceremony of Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing, the country's foreign minister said on Thursday.

In a statement, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the visit is aimed at expressing solidarity with its "all-weather" friend as the US and some of its allies have boycotted the event.

Certain Western countries will not send their diplomats to the games set to begin on Feb. 4 over China's alleged human rights violations.

Amid escalating tensions with the West over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is also expected to attend the ceremony.

According to Qureshi, Khan, during his three-day visit from Feb. 3-5, will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as well as exchange views on other issues of importance. He may also interact with the Russian president, sources said.

The foreign minister said Pakistan has prepared a "comprehensive" strategy to take the $64 billion project forward, and it will be discussed with the Chinese leadership.

While projects under CPEC, a flagship project of China's Belt and Road, are said to have slowed down; Beijing has also conveyed its concerns over terrorist attacks on its workers in Pakistan.

In a show of unity with Beijing, Islamabad also skipped the Democracy Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden late last year.

source: News Feed
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