President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, Lately, you and I have been meeting frequently. I think that this is good for the development of Russian-Pakistani dialogue.
Not long ago, we met in Yekaterinburg, where we spoke about developments in our humanitarian, trade and economic cooperation. Now, we are meeting in Dushanbe. I think that this is very useful in building solid relations for the future.
Just now, I was reviewing a memo for our meeting, and was surprised to learn the following: in contrast to Russia’s trade turnover with other nations, which has been affected by the economic crisis, our trade with Pakistan has actually grown in the last three to five months. In other words, we are seeing increase in our trade turnover, even during the crisis. This is a good sign.
I think that we can discuss our trade relations, but we should also talk about our highly important regional problems, the fight against terrorism, the fight against drug trafficking, and the challenges that our nations face, which I hope we will be able to overcome by working together.
President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (as translated into Russian): Thank you, Mr President.
I am very happy to be meeting with you again. I have warm memories of our meeting in Yekaterinburg. For Pakistan, it was a historic meeting, because it was my first visit to the Russian Federation, and I was especially pleased that my first visit was to Yekaterinburg, a historic city.
This allowed me to see Russia, as a country and as a nation, from a new angle. I am certain that together, we can resolve many problems, ranging from trade to international problems such as terrorism.
We are ready to continue building our cooperation in all areas. I would like for this meeting today to be one of many meetings between us. I hope that at some point, you will visit our nation, as for many years now, not a single Russian leader has visited Pakistan.
Next, we can continue discussing various problems, from trade to international relations, but there is another important issue that must be discussed: the war in Afghanistan.
This is a regional problem, and if other nations in the region recognise their responsibility, then concerted efforts will be applied to resolve this problem. This is our common region, and I hope that we will work on this problem together.