Catherine Ashton to visit Pakistan tomorrow


Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, travels to Pakistan on Tuesday for a series of high-level meetings.
According to EU sources, she will launch the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue based on the EU-Pakistan Five-Year Engagement Plan with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.This will take place in Islamabad on 5th June.
During her visit,the High Representative will also meet the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Waheed Arshad, leaders of the parliamentary opposition and, during a visit to Lahore on 6 June, the Governor of Punjab, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa.
Ahead of the visit, Catherine Ashton said: “My visit to Pakistan is an expression of the EU’s support for the consolidation of democracy in the country. The launch of the Strategic Dialogue and the Engagement Plan are a chance to strengthen relations, building on the full range of EU-Pakistan cooperation, from foreign and security policy to development and trade. We want to capitalise on the momentum in our relationship created by the special trade measures we adopted following the 2010 floods and the significant development and humanitarian assistance we have provided to the country. We want to deepen our collaboration in many areas, including judicial reform, strengthening the democratic institutions but also work jointly on promoting regional stability and tackling extremism and terrorism.”
The EU High Representative will hold a joint press conference with Minister Khar at the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.