Despite India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan globally, the European Union (EU) has finalized a new ‘strategic engagement plan’ with the country, which will pave the way towards deepening the trade ties and other relations.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced this at a joint news conference alongside the visiting EU Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
Both parties finalized the agreement after the fourth round of strategic dialogue. Pakistan’s negotiating team was led by FM Qureshi while Mogherini led the visiting delegation.
“Today, I would like to announce that Pakistan and the EU have agreed on a new strategic engagement plan. This immense achievement comes after some tedious negotiations and, once further due process is completed, I will be heading Brussels to sign the agreement,” said Qureshi.
Mogherini said that the new strategic engagement plan will pave way for further strengthening ties between Pakistan and the 27-state strong economic bloc.
The dignitaries issued a joint statement, which said that the EU welcomes the priorities of Pakistan, focusing on investment in human capital, poverty alleviation, rule of law, and good governance.
Pakistan invited the EU to leverage the improved security situation to enhance trade and investment and people-to-people contact including tourism.
Both sides claimed to have a strong political commitment towards the GSP Plus preferential trade regime, which is beneficial for both sides. Mogherini said Pakistan’s exports to the EU member states have doubled since 2013 all because of the GSP plus status is given to it.
She also maintained that GSP plus status is connected with Pakistan implementing the international convention on human rights, women’s rights, freedom of expression, and other issues.