The European Union should play a role in ending the confrontation in Afghanistan and restoring peace, Pakistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on the four-member South Asia Delegation of the European Parliament (DSAS) at the Foreign Ministry..

The European Parliament’s South Asia delegation was led by Chairperson Nicola Prokasini MEP. Other members of the delegation from the Greens of the European Parliament included Vice President Heidi Hotala MEP, Luis Garikano MEP and Tomash Zido Khoshki MEP. During the meeting, discussions were held on the promotion of bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and the European Union in various fields and important regional and global issues. On the occasion, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the European Union provides a solid foundation and framework for enhancing the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) and bilateral multilateral cooperation between Pakistan and the European Union.

He said that the next phase of the Strategic Engagement Plan between Pakistan and the EU is of utmost importance in promoting bilateral trade, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, tackling the challenges of climate change and issues related to digitization. ۔ He further informed the delegation that the facility of “GSP Plus” provided by the European Union to Pakistan has been mutually beneficial. GSP Plus status has played an important role in promoting trade between the two sides. The Foreign Minister also appreciated the assistance provided by the European Union during the Corona epidemic. The two sides stressed the need to continue joint efforts on the basis of fruitful and constructive partnership to further strengthen Pakistan-EU relations. The current situation in Afghanistan was also discussed in detail between the two sides. The Foreign Minister apprised the delegation that Pakistan, being a close neighbor, has been most affected by the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan for the last 40 years.

“The international community welcomes the realization of Afghanistan’s precarious economic situation,” he said. The need is for the international community to take concrete steps on an urgent basis for the economic recovery of Afghan citizens. The Foreign Minister called on the European Union to play its part in ending the four-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan and for lasting peace in Afghanistan. He briefed the EU delegation on the details of the assistance provided by Pakistan during the evacuation process from Kabul. The EU delegation appreciated Pakistan’s assistance in the safe evacuation of diplomatic staff and citizens of European countries from Kabul and thanked Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the Pakistani leadership.

The Foreign Minister drew the attention of the EU delegation to the ongoing Indian atrocities and grave human rights violations in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment that Pakistan seeks peace and stability in the region. During the meeting, the two sides also expressed their commitment to further strengthen the existing mechanism for further strengthening the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the European Union. EU Ambassador Androla Caminara was also present at the meeting.

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