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Pakistani Premier To Visit Russia

April 10, 1999

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Pakistan’s prime minister will visit Moscow later this month, the first vist of a Pakistani prime minister to Russia in 25 years, the state-run news agency reported Saturday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be in Moscow April 19-21 to hold political and economic discussions, the state-run news agency quoted the foreign minister as saying.

Pakistan and Russia have had an uneasy relationship troubled by Russia’s close friendship with neighboring India, an unfriendly neighbor of Pakistan’s and the invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s by the former Soviet Union.

Pakistan was a big supporter of the Islamic resistance which eventually forced the former Soviet Red Army to withdraw from Afghanistan. Pakistan was the staging arena for the western-backed Afghan resistance and provided shelter to more than 5 million Afghan refugees during the peak of the Soviet invasion.

The two countries will sign agreements during Sharif’s visit to Moscow, Aziz said, although he didn’t offer any details.

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