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Zardari, Wen discuss regional situation, other key issues

Against the backdrop of US President Barack Obama's endorsement of India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today discussed the situation in the region and issues of international importance.

world Updated: Nov 12, 2010 19:20 IST

Against the backdrop of US President Barack Obama's endorsement of India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday discussed the situation in the region and issues of international importance.

Zardari, who is in China to take part in the opening ceremony of the Asian Games at the southern city of Guangzhou, had a 'frank exchange of views' with Wen on the sidelines of the event.

They discussed "various issues of mutual interest, including bilateral relations, situation in the region and matters of international importance," Pakistan's state-run APP news agency reported.

The two, who had delegation-level talks followed by one-and-one meeting, vowed to "further strengthen the Sino-Pak deep-rooted multi-faceted ties and strategic relationship through increased cooperation in diverse fields," it said.

"There was unanimity of views on various issues of regional and international importance, with particular reference to peace and stability of region," the report said.

This is the first high-level meeting between the leadership of the two countries after Obama's endorsement of India's candidature for a permanent UNSC seat.

While Pakistan raised strong objections and criticised the US move, China came out with a more guarded reaction stating that it was ready to hold talks with India and other countries on UNSC reforms. Though there was no specific reference to the US move in the official reports about the Zardari-Wen meeting, analysts here said references to 'situation in the region and matters of international importance' indicate that the issue may have been discussed considering the strategic implications for both the countries.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said in Islamabad yesterday that Pakistan wanted a "comprehensive, democratic and representative" expansion of the UN Security Council.

He had said he had spoken to his Chinese counterpart about Pakistan's reservations on India's bid to gain permanent membership of the body and added that President Zardari was also expected to raise the issue during his visit to China.

During their meeting on Friday, Wen also informed Zardari about his plans to visit Pakistan next month coinciding with his trip to India which has already been announced, even though New Delhi and Beijing are in the process of finalising dates.

Wen hoped his visit to Pakistan would expand ties between the two sides in new areas. On his part, Zardari said the government and people of Pakistan looked forward to Wen's visit.