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World

APP
June 18, 2021

Qureshi reiterates Pakistan's firm commitment towards GSP Plus regime

APP
Fri, Jun 18, 2021
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, on June 18, 2021. — Photo courtesy Twitter/@SMQureshiPTI
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, on June 18, 2021. — Photo courtesy Twitter/@SMQureshiPTI

ANTALYA: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday reiterated Pakistan's firm commitment towards the GSP Plus preferential trade regime and effective implementation of the 27 related international conventions.

The minister, in a meeting with the EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, highlighted that the GSP Plus had been a mutually beneficial undertaking and played an important role in the growth of trade between the two sides, the Foreign Office said.

Qureshi  further said that the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) of the European Union had ushered in a new era in bilateral ties and provided a solid architecture for multidimensional cooperation.

He stressed that Pakistan-EU relations had further strengthened with the implementation of SEP signed in June 2019.

The two leaders discussed the entire spectrum of Pakistan-EU relations as well as global and regional situation, including the Afghan peace process and India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appreciating the EU’s support, the foreign minister delineated the steps taken by Pakistan to effectively tackle the situation.

Qureshi also briefed the EU vice president on Pakistan’s progress towards the comprehensive implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan and sought the EU’s support in the review process.

He emphasised that at a time of rising Islamophobia, racism and populism, the international community must show a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief.

Afghan peace process

In the regional context, Qureshi briefed Borrell on Pakistan’s vital contributions to the Afghan peace process, and stressed that the conflict could only be settled through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process.

Both sides urged all the Afghan factions to seize the historic opportunity presented by the current peace process to settle the conflict through political means.

The foreign minister emphasised the need for continued engagement of the international community after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

The two sides agreed to cooperate in facilitating the peace process, resettlement of Afghan refugees, preserving the socio-political gains of the past two decades and supporting Afghanistan post-withdrawal.

Situation in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir

The foreign minister also briefed the EU HR/VP on the continued precarious human rights and security situation in occupied Kashmir and the latest moves by the Indian government to perpetuate its illegal occupation.

He urged the EU to take note of the systemic and gross human rights violations in the occupied territory and play its role for resolution of the dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Borrell also shared his concerns on the prevailing situation in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The two leaders agreed to continue to maintain high level engagement to further strengthen Pakistan-EU relations.

The EU High Representative extended an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan for a working visit to Brussels.

The foreign minister reiterated an invitation to the High Representative to visit Pakistan.

Pakistan expresses unwavering support to Palestine cause

Separately, Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and underscored the importance of a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders under the relevant UNSC resolutions for sustainable peace in the region.

In a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr Riyad Al Maliki on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy in Turkey, Qureshi strongly condemned the latest Israeli strikes against Gaza after the recent ceasefire.

Foreign Minister Maliki briefed Foreign Minister Qureshi on the latest situation in the Palestinian occupied territories.

He also conveyed deep appreciation on behalf of the Palestinian President and people of Palestine to the foreign minister for proactively taking up the case of Palestine at the UN General Assembly during the recent Israeli aggression against Gaza.

Both foreign ministers exchanged views on rising Islamophobia and agreed on the need for evolving a joint strategy to counter discrimination against all religious faiths, particularly against Muslims.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Maliki to visit Pakistan, which he accepted.