- Says Islamabad has made a huge contribution to ensure peace and stability in the region
Pakistan has taken effective measures to eradicate terrorism and restore peace in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister of Austria Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday.
"Pakistan has made an immense contribution towards ensuring peace and stability in the region," the Austrian foreign minister said while addressing a joint press conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Schallenberg arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday on a four-day official visit.
During his meeting with Qureshi, Schallenberg discussed a whole range of bilateral matters as well as regional and global issues.
Schallenberg thanked the government of Pakistan for ensuring the smooth repatriation of its stranded nationals from Afghanistan.
He said Austria was keen to explore the South Asian trade markets, adding that his "visit would open up a new era of his country’s relations with Pakistan."
He said that during his meeting with Qureshi, several areas of importance including trade, climate change, and green energy came under discussion.
With the Russian war in Ukraine, he said a new world order was in the making, adding that the situation could lead to a wider crisis.
The Austrian FM said that Pakistan was hosting the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which was an important step.
Meanwhile, Qureshi in his remarks said Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Austria and considered it an important country of the European Union.
He mentioned the excellent investment opportunities available for Austrian companies in Pakistan in the fields of renewable energy, tourism, housing, agriculture, and information technology.
He said the special economic zones under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also offered attractive incentives and tax concessions for Austrian investors.
Qureshi hoped that Austria would continue to support Pakistan in the fourth biennial review of GSP + status this year.
He said Pakistan believed that constructive diplomatic and political engagement of the international community with Afghanistan would ensure lasting peace and stability.
The foreign minister mentioned that Pakistan provided all possible assistance for the evacuation of diplomats, representatives of international organizations, NGOs, and media persons from Afghanistan.
He expressed confidence that the visit of the Austrian foreign minister to Pakistan would impart further impetus to the multifaceted Pakistan-Austria relationship.
Qureshi said he apprised his Austrian counterpart on serious human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
To a question on the current Ukraine situation, Qureshi said Pakistan was "watching the developments with concern."