- Foreign minister conveys Pakistan’s readiness to work for a productive and constructive partnership with the EU
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that Pakistan and the European Union (EU)'s Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) has entered a new phase, as it laid a solid foundation and framework for multidimensional cooperation.
The foreign minister expressed these views in a meeting with visiting EU Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia (DSAS).
"Views were exchanged on various aspects of the Pakistan-EU relations and regional and international developments," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
In his comments, the foreign minister highlighted the enormous potential in diverse areas such as "commerce and trade, sustainable development, and climate change".
Qureshi conveyed Pakistan’s readiness to work for a productive and constructive partnership with the EU, and underscored the importance of regular interactions between the two sides.
The foreign minister said the EU’s GSP Plus facility for Pakistan had been mutually beneficial and played an important role in the growth of trade between the two sides.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment towards effective implementation of GSP Plus-related International Conventions and appreciated the EU’s support to Pakistan in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two sides also exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan.
Qureshi highlighted that Pakistan had suffered the most due to conflict and instability in Afghanistan over the last four decades and that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s vital interest.
The foreign minister appreciated that there was a realisation in the international community to engage with Afghanistan.
He underlined that a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse in Afghanistan could have enormous consequences.
Qureshi stressed that the Afghan people should not be abandoned and that the international community should remain positively engaged to advance shared objectives of peace, security, development, and connectivity.
He also briefed the visiting delegation about Pakistan’s assistance in the EU’s evacuation efforts from Afghanistan.
Qureshi also apprised the delegation of India's grave human rights violations in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). He stressed that Pakistan desires good relations with all neighbouring countries.
He highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace in the region and underlined that the onus was on India to create an enabling environment for result-oriented engagement.
Both sides agreed to further enhance interaction in diverse areas through various established mechanisms and high-level exchanges.
The EU delegation thanked Pakistan for its assistance in the EU’s evacuation efforts of its nationals from Afghanistan.
The EU delegation, currently on a three-day visit to Pakistan, also held extensive meetings with other government officials.
The visit is a part of regular interactions between the two sides.