Source: European Union
On 6 October 2020, the 6th round of the European Union – Pakistan Political Dialogue was held by video conference.
The EU and Pakistan reviewed progress since the signing of the EU–Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) in June 2019 and expressed their continued commitment to its implementation, including the holding of the Strategic Dialogue between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and the establishment of a Security Dialogue, as well as the further expansion of cooperation in areas such as climate change, energy and connectivity.
The EU also raised the need to counter all forms of terrorism and to take decisive action against money laundering and terrorist financing and took note of progress in Pakistan’s implementation of its action plan developed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
On migration and mobility, the EU expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s continued hosting of a large number of Afghan refugees on its territory and shared information about the latest developments with regard to the EU’s policy on migration and asylum.
In the context of a discussion about Pakistan’s participation in the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+), the EU acknowledged the progress achieved by Pakistan’s introduction of new legislation on human rights issues and encouraged Pakistan to intensify its implementation efforts.
Pakistan informed the EU about the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its population and economy. The EU recalled its “Team Europe” response package for Pakistan, through which €150 million has been mobilised as immediate support towards mitigating the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Pakistan, for its part, extended its gratitude for the EU’s assistance to the country’s economic recovery.
Both sides exchanged views on regional and international issues. On Afghanistan’s recently started peace process, the EU reiterated the necessity, called for by the United Nations and most countries, of an immediate, comprehensive, nationwide and unconditional ceasefire, and called on Pakistan to use its influence on the conflict parties in this regard. The EU and Pakistan also discussed their relations with India, China and Iran.
The Political Dialogue was co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood.