RAWALPINDI: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio Monday called on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, during his two-day visit to Pakistan.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security, the evolving situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan were discussed.
The COAS said that Pakistan values its relations with Italy and earnestly looks forward to enhancing mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interest.
Maio appreciated Pakistan's role in the Afghan situation, including successful evacuation operations, efforts for regional stability, and pledged to play their role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.
Later, the visiting dignitary met Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, where they discussed bilateral relations between Italy and Pakistan besides the Afghan issue.
On the occasion, PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan had to face a huge loss due to prolonged conflict and absence of stability in the neighbouring country.
"A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and region," said PM Imran Khan.
The Italian FM was received by FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Foreign Office for delegation-level talks between the two countries earlier in the day.
Per a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two representatives conferred upon the current situation in Afghanistan and bilateral affairs during the talks.
On the occasion, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan has a special value for the bilateral relations with Italy, adding that Italy’s efforts for containing the spread of coronavirus are highly laudable.
The Pakistani FM thanked Maio for the Italian support for the GSP-Plus Status extended to Pakistan, while the latter congratulated the former for assuming the presidency of G20.
FM Qureshi took to Twitter to welcome Maio to Pakistan and said that the visit of the Italian delegation shows the commitment of the two countries towards working together closely for peace, stability, and cooperation.
"Good to welcome FM @luigidimaio to Pakistan. His visit reflects the resolve of the governments of Pakistan and Italy to work closely for peace and stability and to advance our level of our bilateral cooperation," FM Qureshi wrote on Twitter.
In the latest Twitter post, FM Qureshi said that Italy and Pakistan have a robust relationship, reinforced by the 150,000-member Pakistani diaspora forming a strong bridge between the two countries.
The FM wrote in another Twitter post that he and his Italian counterpart shared views on Pakistan’s support of an inclusive political statement in the neighbouring country and the importance of the international community’s engagement with the Afghan people, prioritising their humanitarian needs, and ensuring their economic stability.
Pakistan and Italy enjoy cordial relations, bilaterally as well as in the context of EU and multilateral fora. The two sides closely coordinate on the issue of the UN Security Council reforms.
The visit of Foreign Minister Maio potentially added further momentum to the close cooperation between the two countries to strengthen mutual coordination on regional and international issues.
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