Italian Ambassador calls on the Foreign Minister.


Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorovoat the Foreign Office today. The two sides discussed a wide range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest and expressed satisfaction at the current state of relations.

The Foreign Minister appreciated the longstanding Pakistan-Italy cooperation in various areas and emphasized the need to diversify and enhance collaboration in bilateral trade, defence and cultural spheres.

The Foreign Minister welcomed the signing of MoU between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Italian Trade Promotion Agency ICE to enhance trade and establishment of four Centers of Excellence in Pakistan in the fields of marble and mining, leather and denim clothing. It was also agreed to augment cooperation in tourism and archaeological research sector, particularly through joint ventures to develop mutually identified tourism facilities.

The Italian Ambassador assured full cooperation of his government in working with Pakistan to continue and enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest.

Foreign Minister meets Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, the Former Prime Minister of Norway

The Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met the Former Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr. KjellMagneBondevik who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Bondevik briefed the Foreign Minister on his visit to India, in particular to Srinagar, where he had the opportunity to interact with Kashmiri groups representing various walks of life.

Mr. Bondevik further stated that the Kashmir issue should be high on the agenda of the international community and its resolution should be a priority for all. More importantly, it should be noted that there was no military solution to this issue, peaceful and meaningful dialogue was the only way forward for Pakistan and India.

In response, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that India has continued to ignore with impunity legitimate demands for a probe into gross and systematic human rights violations, including use of excessive force and pellet guns, arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as use of sexual violence as a weapon.

It is high time that the international community moves beyond rhetoric and takes meaningful steps in putting an immediate end to the gross and systematic human rights abuses in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the United Nations OHCHR Report on Jammu and Kashmir as well as the UK Parliament’s APPKG report on the region as evidence of international recognition of the severity of the problem.

He iterated that peace and justice is indispensable for the region and it can only be achieved with the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the aspirations of the people.

The Foreign Minister thanked Mr. Bondevik for showing solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and urged him to continue playing a role in highlighting the case of Kashmir on all levels and forums.


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