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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will leave for Egypt today (Tuesday) on a two-day official visit 16-18 February 2021 on the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart.

The Foreign Office said in a statement, during the visit, the foreign minister will hold detailed consultations with his Egyptian counterpart and will call on other dignitaries. He will also interact with leading Egyptian businessmen and members of the Pakistani community. The visit of the foreign minister is expected to further strengthen and diversify Pakistan’s bilateral ties with brotherly Egypt.

It stated that the visit of the foreign minister is taking place in the backdrop of the meetings between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi; first, on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Makkah Summit in 2019, and then on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2019. During these meetings, the two leaders agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and enhance high-level exchanges.

Last year, the prime minister also had a telephone conversation with the Egyptian president regarding his “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries, which was supported by Egypt.

“Pakistan and Egypt enjoy close fraternal relations firmly anchored on common faith, culture and values. The two countries have similar perceptions on a range of regional and global issues,” the Foreign Office said, adding that bilateral cooperation is advanced through strong institutional mechanisms, including the Joint Ministerial Commission, Annual Bilateral Consultations, and Joint Business Council. More than 40 agreements signed between the two sides in diverse fields provide a firm basis for enhanced cooperation. Pakistan and Egypt also work closely in the multilateral arena, in particular the United Nations, the OIC, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), it added.

Egypt is an important country in the Middle East and Africa. Egypt plays a key role in the Middle East, while its deep linkages with the African Continent make it a gateway to Africa. In line with Pakistan’s desire to forge stronger ties with the Islamic world, as well as the government’s “Engage Africa” initiative, Pakistan accords high importance to its partnership with Egypt, it added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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