Pakistan, China agree to strengthen strategic cooperation

They also “reiterated their resolve to maintain close engagement on all issues of regional and global importance,” President Mamnoon Hussain’s office said. (AFP)
Updated 09 June 2018

Pakistan, China agree to strengthen strategic cooperation

  • Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain congratulated Xi on his re-election as China’s president and secretary-general of the country’s Communist Party
  • China attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan, which will remain a priority for Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping said

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Saturday agreed to further strengthen strategic cooperation between their countries.
Hussain met with Xi in China, where they will participate in the 18th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of Heads of State.
The two leaders held “in-depth discussions” on Pakistani-Chinese relations “and regional and global issues of mutual interest,” Hussain’s office said.
He congratulated Xi on his re-election as China’s president and secretary-general of the country’s Communist Party.
Pakistan supports China’s chairmanship of the SCO, and appreciates Beijing’s various initiatives within the organization during the last year, Hussain said.
Xi said he appreciates Pakistan’s proactive participation in the SCO since becoming a member.
“They agreed to continue supporting each other on issues of core interest,” and that Pakistani-Chinese relations “are a pillar of stability,” Hussain’s office said.
They also “reiterated their resolve to maintain close engagement on all issues of regional and global importance.”
China attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan, which will remain a priority for Beijing, Xi said.
The Chinese president “appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism, and its role in peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” Hussain’s office said.


Thousands killed in Ethiopia’s conflict, Tigray side asserts

Updated 04 December 2020

Thousands killed in Ethiopia’s conflict, Tigray side asserts

NAIROBI, Kenya: Several thousand combatants have been killed in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, an official with the fugitive regional government has asserted, although claims remain difficult to verify a month after the fighting erupted between Ethiopian and regional forces.
Getachew Reda, a senior adviser to the Tigray leader, in an interview with Tigray TV aired Thursday urged young people and others in the region to “rise and deploy to battle in tens of thousands” days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the weekend declared victory.
With the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the run in rugged territory, fears of a drawn-out conflict continue. But with communications and transport links still largely severed to the region of 6 million people, it’s difficult to know the situation on the ground, including the extent of popular support for the TPLF and the number of people killed.
“Our capacity to resist ultimately depends on the support we get from our people,” Getachew said. “It is possible to have the scenario where we stop everything and turn all the people into soldiers.”
He didn’t say how many people are actively fighting but said “our army is doing amazing things with limited numbers,” and he claimed there had been tens of thousands of deaths among Ethiopian forces and those from neighboring Eritrea, which the TPLF insists is also involved. Ethiopia’s government denies that.
Getachew also acknowledged casualties on the TPLF side but didn’t say how many.
Ethiopian forces over the weekend announced they had “full control” of the Tigray capital, Mekele, a city of a half-million people. Getachew said their side had made a “strategic withdrawal” from the city to minimize destruction.
It is not clear how many people were killed as Ethiopian forces moved in on Mekele, but the International Committee of the Red Cross over the weekend said the city’s largest hospital had run out of body bags and staff suspended other services to focus on the wounded.
Ethiopian government spokesman Redwan Hussein didn’t immediately respond to a question about the current estimated death toll in the conflict.