China praises ‘unity’ of security bloc led with Russian Federation

Monday, 11 Jun, 2018

The two met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State Summit in Qingdoa, China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said he was ready to meet his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump as soon as Washington was ready, adding Vienna could be a possible venue for such a summit. Lawmakers have questioned his hesitance to criticize Russian Federation, particularly for its alleged role in influencing the 2016 US election.

At the same time he downplayed tensions at the acrimonious G7 meeting in Quebec City, after Trump disowned the joint summit statement and lambasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two leaders then attended an ice hockey between the youth teams of Russian Federation and China.

Mr Trump announced back in March that he and Mr Putin planned to meet soon but since then relations between Washington and Moscow have since deteriorated over the conflict in Syria and the Salisbury spy poisoning scandal.

Thanks to President Putin, bilateral ties have withstood the test of ever-changing global situation, Xi said, noting the deepened political and strategic mutual trust, great progress in pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and the enhanced friendship between the two peoples.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, whose country is an observer member, also attended the meeting as he seeks Chinese and Russian support following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Putin emphasized the significance of the SCO, which includes Russian Federation and China, and said the combined purchasing power of the SCO was bigger than G7.

Earlier during the visit, President Mamnoon held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, where the two leaders held in-depth discussions related to Pakistan-China bilateral relations and regional and global issues of mutual interest.

"As for Russia's return to the G7, G8 - we never left it", he said.

He added that Russian Federation was ready to "develop, deepen and normalize ties with the United States", noting that the next move was for Washington to make.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would not abandon the JCPOA and would continue to comply with its obligations.

With concerted efforts, cooperation between China and Russian Federation in various areas has maintained a strong momentum, and the integration of mutual interests has deepened constantly, Xi said.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States last month, calling the agreement deeply flawed, European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

"No matter what country has terrorists, we must strengthen our regional cooperation and not allow them to affect regional security", he told a press conference Friday, adding that the SCO bloc had stopped "hundreds" of terrorist acts.