Pakistan, European Union agree to boost bilateral ties

Islamabad, March 26, 2014 (PPI-OT): The 2nd Session of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Brussels on 25 March 2014, between High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton and Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

Both sides welcomed the good progress made in the EU-Pakistan partnership under the Five-Year Engagement Plan adopted in 2012. EU-Pakistan relations are now stronger than ever.

The High Representative praised Pakistan on its historic democratic transition, through transparent elections in May 2013. She highlighted the contribution of the EU election observation mission and assured of the EU’s continued support for democratic institutions and rule of law in Pakistan.

Pakistan thanked the European Union for its inclusion in the GSP + scheme. Both sides agreed that this could provide an important contribution to growth and employment in Pakistan as well as help it promote sustainable development and good governance objectives.

The Advisor highlighted the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan for promotion and protection of human rights, including women, children and minority groups. Both sides agreed to enhance dialogue and cooperation for the effective implementation of the relevant UN conventions in the context of GSP+.

The Pakistani side also elaborated on the security situation and the new National Internal Security Policy (NISP) of Pakistan. The High Representative appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and stability and promised the EU’s continued support and cooperation.

The Advisor and the High Representative also discussed matters related to the economy, energy, trade and migration, and shared their perspectives on regional and global issues including Afghanistan, India, the Middle East and the situation in Ukraine.

Both sides agreed to further broaden and deepen cooperation under the Engagement Plan. This could include a strengthened dialogue in areas such as energy, climate change, research and higher education.

The Advisor emphasized the importance of support for poverty alleviation, water for drinking and irrigation in remote and arid areas. The next Joint Commission in June will further elaborate this. It was decided to hold the 3rd Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue in 2015 in Islamabad.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Spokesman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tell: 051-9205494
Fax: 051-9204202
Cell: 0336-5644459

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