Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday said it had apprised the European Union (EU) about recent developments in the region, including the current situation in Kashmir, at their bilateral strategic dialogue.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said the two sides also agreed to strengthen relations and further elevate their partnership at the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue held in Brussels. "Noting with concern the recent developments, the EU side underlined the need for resolving disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement," Foreign Office said.
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini and Adviser to Pakistan's Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, led the two sides in Brussels. "They agreed to work on replacing the Five-Year Engagement Plan, adopted in 2012, with an EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan. Every effort will be made to finalise the new Engagement Plan by the middle of 2017, for approval by the next EU-Pakistan Summit," FO said.
It said both sides discussed migration and refugees issues and Pakistan side underlined the need for addressing the root causes of migration and taking an integrated approach encompassing different aspects of migration. The EU acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting over 3 million refugees and is ready to consider providing additional support, including for their repatriation to Afghanistan in safety and dignity.
They agreed to further strengthen cooperation on migration issues, including irregular migration, and reaffirmed their commitment to the continued implementation of the EU-Pakistan Readmission Agreement. The EU emphasised its continuing support for democratic institutions, electoral reform, the rule of law, economic development and poverty reduction in Pakistan.