Pakistan-EU security dialogue next year

Published November 5, 2020
In this 2019 file photo, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shake hands ahead of their meeting in Islamabad. — PTI Twitter
In this 2019 file photo, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shake hands ahead of their meeting in Islamabad. — PTI Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the European Union on Wednesday agreed to commence their bilateral security dialogue from next year.

Pakistan and the EU “agreed to hold the first meeting of the new EU-Pakistan Security Dialogue in 2021, including on the fight against terrorism”, said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the fifth round of their bilateral strategic dialogue, which was held virtually.

Pakistan and the EU had last year inked a Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) to provide a framework for greater cooperation and stronger ties between the two sides. Collaboration in the sphere of peace and security, through a structured security dialogue, was at the time of signing of the SEP described as its essential pillar.

The new security dialogue under the SEP has replaced the earlier series of annual counterterrorism and non-proliferation and disarmament dialogues.

The EU briefed Pakistan about its new pact on migration and asylum. Both sides agreed to work towards a comprehensive dialogue on migration and mobility, as envisaged under the SEP.

Pakistan and the EU, moreover, urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to reach a ceasefire. The call was made in a joint declaration on Afghanistan issued by the two sides.

“The EU and Pakistan, therefore, call on the parties to observe a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, in response to the global appeal by UN Secretary General Guterres, and to strive towards a complete elimination of violence as a clear demonstration of their genuine commitment to lasting peace and reconciliation,” the two sides said in their statement.

Pakistan and the EU further asked the Taliban and the Afghan government to make “earnest efforts” for achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2020

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