European Parliament members, Pakistani officials discuss cooperation

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Islamabad : The European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with South Asia, which covers relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka), visited Islamabad on the occasion of the 12th inter-parliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The visitors included Chair Nicola Procaccini (Italy, ECR), Heidi Hautala (Finland, Greens, Vice-President of the European Parliament), Luis Garicano (Spain, Renew) and Tomáš Zdechovsky (Czechia, EPP), who discussed with Pakistani authorities the state of EU-Pakistan cooperation in different fields, bilateral trade and GSP+, climate change, regional issues, good governance and the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the situation of minorities.

Representational Image - European Union or EU and Islamic Republic of Pakistan national flag from textile. Symbol of the Council of Europe association opposite Asian country. Europe championshipRepresentational Image – European Union or EU and Islamic Republic of Pakistan national flag from textile. Symbol of the Council of Europe association opposite Asian country. Europe championshipThe last official visit (Islamabad and Karachi) took place in November 2018.

The MEPs met with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Law and Justice, the Prime Minister´s Advisor on Commerce, the Attorney General of Pakistan, the Governor of Punjab, with prominent Members of Parliament, with civil society organisations and with representatives of the media.

The meetings focused on issues of common interest, such as the state of EU-Pakistan cooperation in a number of fields, bilateral trade, and GSP+, climate change, regional issues, good governance and the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the situation of minorities.

The European delegation took note of Pakistan’s relevant role as regards developments in Afghanistan and said the close historic and cultural ties with Afghanistan and the privileged contacts with the Afghan Taliban were important tools in trying to address the risk of a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.

While recalling the EU’s benchmarks for engagement with Kabul, MEPs expressed their appreciation for the role of Pakistan in helping channel humanitarian aid and in facilitating the relocation of vulnerable Afghans to numerous countries of the international community.

The MEPs also recognised the efforts Pakistan has made to give shelter to over three million registered refugees over decades.

They underlined that the EU would continue supporting Pakistan’s efforts for the improvement of human rights, freedom of expression, the rule of law, and strengthening democratic institutions. AdChoices

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