Pakistan urges Spain to help prevent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

FM Qureshi lauds Spain’s continued support for Pakistan in European markets


Our Correspondent January 13, 2022
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares on Wednesday (Jan 12, 2022). Photo: Twitter/FMQureshi

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan has urged Spain to play its role within the European Union (EU) to engage interim government of Afghanistan to avoid the impending humanitarian crisis.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares on Wednesday, according to a handout issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

Expressing satisfaction on existing bilateral trade, Pakistan’s foreign minister highlighted the major milestones as well as key aspects of the bilateral relationship marked by shared perceptions on a range of regional and international issues, including terrorism and United Nations (UN) reforms.

Emphasising the significance of existing mechanism of Annual Bilateral Consultations (ABC) for effective cooperation, the two foreign ministers agreed for early convening of the fifth round.

Given Pakistan’s consumer base of more than 220 million people, the foreign minister indicated a broad range of investment opportunities in textile, housing and construction, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, agriculture, food processing and sports goods sectors.

Noting the growth achieved in Pakistan-European Union (EU) trade, Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan considered Spain as an important and reliable trading partner within the EU. The foreign minister appreciated Spain’s role in the GSP Plus status for Pakistan and emphasised the importance of continued support in this context, he added.

Read: PM lauds ISI efforts for national security

Highlighting Pakistan’s commendable progress on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan, he stressed that proceedings of the forum should not be politicised. He appreciated that Spain recognised Pakistan’s efforts in the domain of counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment for regional peace and stability in Afghanistan, Qureshi urged Spain to play its important role within the EU to engage interim government of Afghanistan to avoid the impending humanitarian crisis. He added that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was paramount for peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

Highlighting the robust bond of Pakistani community in Spain, he conveyed the concerns of Pakistan-origin Spanish citizens who have to renounce Pakistani nationality in line with local law due to non-existence of dual nationality agreement between the two countries.

Separately, Qureshi met with Spain’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism María Reyes Maroto Illera and discussed means to enhance existing bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Both sides agreed to transform the existing goodwill in political relations into enhanced economic cooperation for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

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