Pakistani President to visit Belgium for Pak-EU Summit next week


Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari will be paying an official visit to Brussels from 16-19 June, to lead Pakistan delegation to the first Pakistan-European Union Summit, the Foreign Ministry said.

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The President will also address NATO’s policy making organ, the North Atlantic Council, a ministry statement said.

He will call on Belgian monarch His Royal Majesty King Albert-II and hold a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy to discuss bilateral relations.

The President will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the statement said.

The President will address a select gathering of leading Belgian business executives. A representative delegation of Pakistani Community and Brussels Kashmir Centre delegation will also call on the President.

“The first Pakistan-EU Summit reflects EU’s strong political support to the democratic government of Pakistan. It is explicit recognition of Pakistan’s important role in promoting peace, stability and development in the region”.

The EU is expected to express its readiness to explore mechanisms to accommodate Pakistan’s request for greater market access and enhancement of bilateral trade by agreeing in principle to move towards an eventual Pakistan-EU FTA, the statement said.

The EU has summit level arrangement with six states, namely, the US, Russia, China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea.

In the summit meeting, both sides will craft a vision for the future relationship with strong economic underpinning mutually beneficial for the peoples of Pakistan and the EU.