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ISLAMABAD: Senior officials of Pakistan and Australia on Wednesday via video-conference reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation including matters relating to political, economic trade, investment, defence, security, educational and technical cooperation and people-to-people contacts.

According to Foreign Office, the Pakistan side was led by Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific) Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, while Justin Hayhurst, Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led the Australian side.

Welcoming the steady progress in multi-dimensional bilateral relations over the years based on mutual trust and understanding, the two sides resolved to consolidate and further enhance cooperation in diverse fields in line with the shared objectives of peace and development.

The importance of regular interaction and dialogue under existing mechanisms and exchange of high-level visits to generate further momentum in the relationship was underlined.

The Additional Secretary also sought Australia’s cooperation to facilitate early return of Pakistani students who have not been able to travel to Australia due to Covid-19 situation.

In the regional context, the Additional Secretary shared Pakistan’s perspective on peace and stability in Afghanistan, South Asia and the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The Australian Deputy Secretary conveyed appreciation for Pakistan’s facilitative role in safe evacuation of their nationals and others from Afghanistan. He also shared Australia’s perspective on various regional and global issues.

The two sides agreed to remain engaged on all issues of mutual interest. Next round of senior officials talks will be held in Islamabad in 2022.

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