Meeting of Interior Minister with European Union Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship

Islamabad, November 24, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Minister for Interior, Government of Pakistan Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos agreed, during a meeting in Islamabad on 23rd November, 2015 that Pakistan and EU will enhance cooperation to manage current migration and security issues in order to take strong action together to tackle the migration challenges faced by both the EU and Pakistan.

Interior Minister for Pakistan shared Government of Pakistan’s concern over the irregularities in the implementation of the Re-admission Agreement, signed between Pakistan and EU in 2009. Both sides agreed to work together to find solutions to technical problems regarding the agreement and resolving the issues pertaining to the implementation of the Agreement. It was decided that the meeting of the Joint Readmission Committee will take place in Brussels on 12th January, 2016 to immediately resolve the above mentioned issues.

The two parties welcomed the establishment of an electronic platform which would enhance the speedy and transparent processing of Readmission applications. Commissioner Avramopoulos also announced that the European Commission will setup funding to support the reintegration of Pakistani migrants that return from the EU and will continue to support the internally displaced/up rooted persons in Pakistan. In addition the European Commission will provide funding for targeted projects on preventing and countering migrant smuggling in Pakistan.

Both sides welcomed the launch of an information campaign on the dangers of irregular migration, the opening of two migration information centres in Islamabad and Lahore and the future deployment of a European Migration Liaison Officer to the EU Delegation to Pakistan. Both parties will explore further possible EU support for projects and programmes in this area.

Work on Medium and long term priorities, relating to the next Joint Readmission Committee (JRC), as well as EU’s broader engagement with Pakistan including Legal migration and mobility and EU’s engagement to support Pakistan in the context of the Silk Route Partnership were discussed. Counter-terrorism and cooperation in the field of drugs were also addressed. Both parties undertook the commitment to continue to work closely together on priorities in the future.

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