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ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Mohsin Dawar has said that “Engage Africa” is Pakistan’s strategic pivot to Africa to expand economic, parliamentary, and diplomatic relations with countries on the continent.

He remarked that the diversity of the resource-rich African continent, its market size, shared values, and strategic convergences stimulate Pakistan’s interest to elevate bilateral relations and exchanges with African countries in a new era of friendship and cooperation.

He made these remarks while meeting Ambassador of Ethiopia Jamal Beker Abdula, at the Parliament House on Thursday.

Mohsin Dawar, appreciating the opening of the Ethiopian embassy in Islamabad, stressed that Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with Ethiopia and takes pride in the mutual support to each other at various multilateral forums including the UNGA, UNSC and UNHRC.

He remarked that Ethiopia is an emerging linchpin in Pakistan’s strategy to expand trade with Africa. Both Pakistan and Ethiopia are promising markets for each other, he remarked.

Mohsin Dawar also proposed close coordination between Permanent Missions in New York and Geneva. He also wished continued and uninterrupted peace and prosperity in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Ambassador, Jamal Beker Abdula, remarked that the world should not see Pakistan through a Western media’s lens. Pakistan is a peaceful, culturally rich and diversified country with immensely strong social values and huge economic potential, he remarked. He stated that Pakistan’s contribution to the UN Peace Keeping Missions is a testimony of the country’s enduring commitment to global peace.

The Ethiopian ambassador, stressing the bilateral trade relations, stated that Ethiopia is an attractive market for Pakistani agricultural, pharmaceutical, and technological products, while Ethiopia is critical to Pakistan’s food security in terms of the import of pulses, chickpeas, and red kidney beans.

He appreciated the Pakistan government’s decision to lift a ban on red kidney beans. He urged Pakistani businessmen to explore Ethiopia’s potentially lucrative markets. He stated that Pakistan should offer scholarships for Ethiopian students in various Pakistani universities to cement cultural and educational ties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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