Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Ambassador of the European Union Jean-François Cautain at the Foreign Office today. The two sides discussed a wide range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest and expressed satisfaction at the positive growth in Pakistan-EU relations.
The Foreign Minister highlighted the government’s people-centric reform agenda to bring improvement in wide range of areas, including health, education, agriculture, tourism, human rights, national security and eliminating corruption. He stressed upon the need for enhancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation, in particular to take full benefit of GSP Plus Scheme, which was in positive synergy with the government’s own social agenda.
The Foreign Minister also appreciated the role of Pakistani Diaspora in EU countries in promoting bilateral ties and people-to-people contacts, and highlighted that the current government had, for the first time, granted electronic voting rights to overseas Pakistanis in October 2018 by-elections.
On regional situation, the Foreign Minister underscored Pakistan’s efforts in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Ambassador informed that the EU High Representative would be looking forward to interacting with the Foreign Minister during the forthcoming Geneva conference on Afghanistan later this month.
Referring to the findings of the reports of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UK’s All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) on human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the Foreign Minister urged the EU to uphold its highest standards of human rights by addressing the situation. He commended the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on maintaining a balance between the right to freedom of expression and inciting of sentiments of others.
The Ambassador assured European Union’s full support to the government in enhancing bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest.