UNGA president-elect to arrive in Pakistan on Sunday on visit postponed earlier

Updated 08 Aug 2020

Email

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected president of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly last month. — AFP
Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected president of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly last month. — AFP

The incoming president of the United Nations General Assembly will arrive in Pakistan on Sunday for a two-trip visit, the Foreign Office announced on Saturday, after his visit to the country last month was postponed due to some “technical flight problems”.

Volkan Bozkir will undertake the August 9-10 visit on the invitation of the Pakistani government, the FO said in a statement.

During the visit, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will have wide-ranging talks with Bozkir on issues relating to the three main pillars of the UN’s work — peace and security, development, and human rights.

The UNGA president-elect will also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan.

His visit is an important opportunity to "highlight Pakistan’s strong and substantive contributions to the United Nations efforts in the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security, especially through our contribution to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world", the FO observed.

It said Pakistan remains committed to supporting the role of the UNGA on the questions relating to international peace and security, economic and social development, promotion and protection of human rights, peaceful settlement of international disputes, refraining from the threat of use of force, and developing friendly relations among nations.

In a tweet on Saturday, Bozkir said as the president-elect, he was visiting a number of countries "per usual practice".

"Within this scope, I will fly to Islamabad tomorrow, to pay my earlier postponed visit to Pakistan," he wrote, adding that he will exchange views on issues and priorities of the agenda of the 75th session of the UNGA with the Pakistani leadership.

Turkish diplomat Bozkir was elected president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly in June and was originally scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on July 26.

But in a tweet the same day, he said the visit to Pakistan would have to wait. “I am hoping to visit Pakistan in the near future and looking forward to a fruitful exchange with the Pakistani authorities, regarding the issues & priorities on the United Nations 75th General Assembly agenda,” he wrote.

Foreign Minister Qureshi while tweeting in response to Bozkir said that “I look forward to welcoming you to Pakistan soon for a constructive and fruitful visit.”

Earlier, Qureshi, while announcing the visit, had hoped he would discuss a range of issues with the UN official, including Kashmir.

Qureshi said he would present to Bozkir Pakistan's position on Indian-occupied Kashmir, which he said was suffering the "worst human rights situation" in the world.

The foreign minister had added that he would also inform Bozkir about the atrocities committed by the Indian army in occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan wants the UN to play its role in resolving the issue of Kashmir under its resolutions by allowing people living in the disputed region to decide whether they want to merge with India, with Pakistan or whether they prefer independence.