Pakistan seeks strategic dialogue with EU


Islamabad : Pakistan wants to hold a strategic dialogue with the European Union to forge a broadbased partnership.

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Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to formally launch the bilateral strategic dialogue early next year with the visit of Catherine Asthon, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to Pakistan, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Khar discussed Pakistan-EU ties with Helga Schmid, deputy secretary general of the European External Action Service Thursday.

She said the strategic dialogue, based on a five year EU-Pakistan Engagement Plan being finalised, would go a long way in forging a mutually-beneficial, broadbased partnership.

The foreign minister said Pakistan attached enormous importance to its relations with the EU, given the fact that the EU was the largest trading partner of Pakistan as well as one of the major sources of foreign investment and remittances.

On the upcoming Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, Khar said Pakistan was committed to a stable Afghanistan as stability in Afghanistan was indispensable for Pakistan’s stability and socio-economic development.

She emphasised that Pakistan was convinced that in order for it to develop and prosper, regional stability was a sine qua non.

Schmid said every effort was being made on the part of Brussels to forge a strong comprehensive relationship with Pakistan.

She said with the commencement of the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and EU, the two sides would embark on a sustained process of strengthening Pakistan-EU relations in diverse areas.