Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, met the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, European External Action Service, Enrique Mora in the UAE today.
The Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction over the multifaceted relations between Pakistan and the European Union, which have strengthened over time. He noted that recent interactions between the two sides including the holding of the Joint Commission in Islamabad last month and the visit of the members of the European Parliament this week have maintained positive momentum in bilateral ties.
The Foreign Minister also appreciated the humanitarian assistance of 133 million Euros by the EU and its member states to Pakistan after the devastation caused by the recent climate-induced floods. He apprised the EU High Representative of the enormous task Pakistan is faced with on account of rehabilitation and reconstruction work. He called on the international community to rise to the occasion and ensure climate justice for Pakistan. The High Representative assured full support to the Foreign Minister in meeting the daunting challenge.
The Foreign Minister and the EU High Representative also discussed the GSP Plus – a scheme mutually beneficial for both Pakistan and the European Union. The Foreign Minister hoped that Pakistan and the EU would continue to benefit from it and its successor dispensation in the future as well. The High Representative lauded Pakistan’s progress in implementing the international conventions that are part of the GSP plus scheme.
The Foreign Minister urged the High Representative that the EU should delist Pakistan at the soonest possible from its list of countries having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes after Pakistan exited the FATF grey list last month. The High Representative appreciated Pakistan’s remarkable progress in completing the two FATF Action Plans and assured the Foreign Minister that the EU would delist Pakistan soon.
Both sides agreed to further strengthen Pakistan-EU relations and to remain engaged, inter alia, with established institutional mechanisms.