Pakistan, EU to continue enhancing bilateral relations

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Pakistan and the European Union (EU) on Friday resolved to continue with their joint fight against terrorism and agreed to enhance cooperation in trade, economy and defense sectors.

European Union Military Committee (EUMC) Chairman General Patrick de Rousiers called on Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi on Friday.

The EUMC is the highest military body within the European Council and consists of the chiefs of Defence of the 27 EU member states.

“Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani also participated in the deliberations, which covered the entire spectrum of Pakistan-EU bilateral relations,” said a Foreign Office statement.

The special assistant to the PM informed the chairman of Pakistan’s intensified relations with the EU following the first Strategic Dialogue in 2012.

“He also discussed the role of the European Union, which is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, key investor and development partner, in meeting the priorities of the new government. In this context, he highlighted the need for Pakistan’s inclusion in GSP Plus,” the statement said.

The chairman discussed the expanding role of the EUMC and exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest. They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, including the post withdrawal scenario after 2014.

General Patrick also called on Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at GHQ Rawalpindi.

“The two discussed matters of mutual interest. The visitor was briefed on Pakistan’s contribution to the fight against terrorism with special reference to the sacrifices rendered by the nation. He was also briefed about enduring participation of Pakistani troops in UN Missions across the world,” said an ISPR statement.

General Patrick also attended a wreath laying ceremony at ‘ShuhadaMonument’ and was presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the Pakistan Army.

The EUMC chairman also had a meeting with General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

He remained with General Khalid for some time and discussed matters of mutual interests.