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March 12, 2013
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Pakistan welcomes EU observers for May polls

March 12, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan says as a policy, it will welcome a European Union election observation mission during the forthcoming general elections in May 2013.“Yes, we will welcome the observation mission”, foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said.
The offer was made Monday by the Council of the European Union in its conclusions on Pakistan in which it said that it is ready to assist by deploying an election observation mission, as a tangible sign of its support for Pakistan’s democratic process, and looks forward to hold the third summit meeting with the new government.
The EU announced it reiterates its strong and continuing commitment to deepening and widening relations with Pakistan. Cautioning Pakistan of the importance of the elections taking place in an environment free from intimidation and coercion, the EU says that it “looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people. They should, for the first time, enable the transition of power from one elected government to the next under stewardship of an independent Election Commission”.
The EU is already looking forward to cooperating with the new government which emerges in May through the strategic dialogue which it says is the ‘bedrock’ of deeper EU-Pakistan relations for the long term.
“The EU looks forward to re-energising the 5-year engagement plan, on which this dialogue is based with next Pakistani government, including through early meetings of ministers and senior officials, and in light of progress achieved, this could lead to a third EU-Pakistan summit”, it said in a statement.
Recognising that Pakistan’s next government will need to take urgent action to ensure essential political, institutional, economic, fiscal and energy reforms, the EU called on Pakistan’s political parties to build the momentum necessary to reach agreement on these.

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