Russia hopes to boost economic ties with Pakistan: Medvedev

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Sochi (Russia), Aug. 19 (ANI): Russia hopes to develop economic cooperation with Pakistan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari here on Wednesday.

"We would like to continue cooperating in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and international crimes. That's why everything we discussed earlier could be continued, even though [we have] good political dialogue, it is very important to develop economic ties," the Ria Novosti news agency quoted Medvedev as telling Zardari.

The Russian leader noted that no progress in bilateral economic cooperation has so far been reached.

"The last time we discussed with you this prospect of cooperation. I hope that we will be able to continue discussing this issue now in terms of bilateral economic cooperation and four-party cooperation in a number of projects," Medvedev said.

The Russian and Pakistani leaders held an individual meeting in the southern Russian city on Wednesday on the sidelines of the quadrilateral summit, which also gathers the presidents of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

The four leaders arrived in Sochi to discuss Afghanistan settlement, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking as well as regional trade and economic cooperation.

Medvedev also expressed condolences to the Pakistani leader following the deadly floods in the north of the country in which at least 1,600 people have died and some 20 million were affected by the disaster.

The floods, caused by the heavy monsoon rains, were the most severe in 80 years. Thousands of houses were destroyed in the country and entire villages were washed out.

"This is a severe disaster which caused many deaths and unfortunately brought great damage. We mourn with you and are ready to provide assistance to the Pakistani people," Medvedev said.

Earlier, the Afghanistan settlement, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking became the main topics on the agenda of a quadrilateral summit in Sochi on Wednesday.his is the second meeting of the presidents of Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The first quadrilateral summit was held in Tajik capital Dushanbe on July 30, 2009.

Medvedev said Russia is ready to help Kabul in restoring peace in the war-torn country and fighting terrorism.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai invited Medvedev to visit Afghanistan.

"I hope this will happen as quickly as possible and when your busy schedule allows," he told Medvedev, adding that the visit would boost bilateral economic and cultural ties. (ANI)

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