Foreign Minister Qureshi begins visit to Belgium today

Published December 6, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi boards a plane in this file photo. — Photo via Foreign Office
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi boards a plane in this file photo. — Photo via Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will visit Brussels from December 6 to 8.

Pakistan and Belgium enjoy cordial and friendly relations based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, mutual respect and close cooperation, a spokesperson for the For­eign Office said.

Over the years, bilateral relations have grown stronger in economic, trade, culture and education fields.

With a trade volume of $982 million, Belgium is the fifth largest trading partner of Pakistan in the EU.

As a key component of the visit, the foreign minister will co-chair the sixth round of Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue with EU High Representative and Vice President Josep Borrell.

The European Union is one of the largest trade and investment partners of Paki­s­tan and the current volume of bilateral trade stands at $10.883 billion. Pakistan’s relations with the EU are manifest in close engagements thr­o­ugh structured dialogues.

The two sides signed the Pakistan-EU Strategic Enga­g­ement Plan in June 2019 which provides solid framework and blue print for future cooperation. This would be the first in-person session of the stra­tegic dialogue since the signing of the SEP. It has been preceded by the 7th round of Pakistan-EU Political Dialo­gue, co-chai­red by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora, held online on December 3.

During his stay in Brussels, Mr Qureshi will meet Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The foreign minister will have exchange of views with Belgian lawmakers and members of the European Parliament.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2021

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