Brussels: (PR) EU foreign leaders met in Brussels last night to adopt firm commitments on a “deepening and widening relation with Pakistan.”
The EU Foreign Affairs council chaired by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, welcomed the forthcoming elections in Pakistan and offered to support the democratic process by deploying an election observation mission.
Catherine Ashton has been instrumental in spearheading EU-Pakistan relations and travelled to Pakistan last year to launch the ‘EU-Pakistan 5-Year Engagement Plan’. The 5 year plan focuses on promoting regular strategic dialogue and sectoral cooperation in a number of areas.
A statement released from last night’s meeting of the 27-nation bloc showed the EU’s keen desire to “re-energizing the 5-Year Engagement Plan” and is in the process of preparing high level ministerial meetings with the new Pakistani government. It also highlighted possibility of a third EU-Pakistan summit.
Sajjad Karim MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group, welcomed the outcome of the meeting. He said:
“This commitment from the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, and the EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, to Pakistan is real. There is a lot of support for Pakistan and in the EU they have a powerful ally.”
“All eyes will focus on Pakistan for these crucial elections, as the stability of the country and the region is of paramount importance.”
The British MEP is set to co-host a dinner tonight with the Ambassador of Pakistan to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, Munawar Saeed Bhatti, and will feature an exclusive group of cross party MEPs including Syed Kamall, Richard Howitt and Michael Gahler. residing