BRUSSELS: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar met Lady Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, here on Monday and discussed regional situation and trade issues.
The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with the European Union in all spheres.
She noted that the commencement of Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue and 5-year Engagement Plan were important landmarks in Pakistan's growing relations with the EU and underlined the importance of institutionalizing the summit-level meetings to sustain the upward trajectory.
She thanked the EU for granting Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs) to Pakistan and hoped that the new GSP+ Scheme would also accommodate Pakistan when it enters into force from 1st January 2014.
The Foreign Minister briefed the High Representative about the situation in Afghan and the efforts Pakistan was making to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
She also elaborated on the steps the democratic Government of Pakistan had taken for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country with particular focus on women, children and minority groups.
Lady Ashton said that the EU regarded Pakistan as a significant country in the region and appreciated the role it was playing for peace and stability in the region.
While recognizing the various legislations Pakistan had adopted regarding human rights, Lady Ashton hoped that Pakistan would continue to make all efforts to provide additional safeguard in this regard.