FM Qureshi hosts second working luncheon for EU ambassadors

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – January 21, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi hosted the second working luncheon for the European Union (EU) ambassadors, Wednesday, whereat the FM reiterated, “Pakistan greatly values its relations with the EU, which are based on shared values and common objectives of peace, prosperity and development.”

According to a press release, the second luncheon was hosted at the foreign office (FO), in the federal capital; providing an opportunity to both sides to share their perspectives and plans to carry forward the relationship.

FM Qureshi welcomed the ambassadors and stated, “The Pakistan-EU relationship strengthened steadily over the years and is pursued through sound institutional mechanisms and dialogue processes.”

The two sides elevated their relationship by signing the strategic engagement plan (SEP) in June 2019. SEP is a forward-looking and comprehensive framework of cooperation in diverse areas of mutual interest.

FM Qureshi highlighted, “The ‘smart’ lockdown strategy of the government to save lives and secure livelihoods turned out to be successful and led to an increase in economic activity including exports.”

He stressed, “The global community must come together to combat the virus and realise nobody is safe till everyone is safe.”

FM Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the trade and investment relations between Pakistan and the EU.

He appreciated the continuation of generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) plus status to Pakistan.

FM Qureshi highlighted the positive outlook of Pakistan’s economy and added, “The growing economic trajectory coupled with extensive natural resources offers huge opportunities for enhanced trade, investment, and tourism.”

He stressed the importance of economic and cultural diplomacy and called for deeper engagement between Pakistan and the EU in these spheres.

FM Qureshi briefed the EU ambassadors regarding regional situation, wherein he highlighted the grave human rights’ situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and underscored the importance of peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant United Nations (UN) resolutions.

He dilated upon Pakistan’s positive contributions to the Afghan peace process and facilitative role in advancing the cause of peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan, region and beyond.

The EU ambassadors appreciated the initiative which provided an opportunity for an in-depth exchange of views on areas of mutual interest.

The importance of closer engagement on Pakistan-EU relations and regional and international issues was underscored.