ISLAMABAD, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan would welcome if Russia made an investment for the revival of Pakistan Steels Mills (PSM) or other projects.

The PSM was set up with the technical and financial help of Russia and now its role in revival of the entity could open up several opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation, Qureshi said in a video statement regarding the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The PSM was closed in 2015 due to heavy financial losses. The foreign minister said the visit of a Russian foreign minister to Pakistan after nine years reflected a “new and positive dimension” of bilateral relations. He said the talks would focus on strengthening economic, trade and defence ties.

Qureshi said Pakistan and Russia were ready to cooperate with each other as their bilateral relations improved with time. He said Russia was an important country in the region and expressed confidence that the talks would yield good results in fortifying bilateral ties. He said both countries wanted to carry out work on North-South gas pipeline project.

He recalled that during the flour crisis in Pakistan, Russia ensured supply of wheat so as to help stabilize the price of the commodity. Qureshi said Pakistan and Russia were working together in the Afghan peace process. The Russian foreign minister could persuade India to play a positive role in bringing peace to Afghanistan.

He said the Russian foreign minister would meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa would also participate in delegation-level talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.