Germany can help us on climate change: Bilawal

FM thanks Berlin for €60m flood aid


AGENCIES October 07, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari held a meeting with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock during his official visit to Berlin. PHOTO: TWITTER/@BBhuttoZardari

BERLIN:

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari thanked the German government on Friday for its assistance for the flood victims of Pakistan, and stressed that the Pakistan looked to Europe’s economic powerhouse on the issue of adverse effects of climate change.

Speaking at a joint press conference following talks with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, in Berlin, the foreign minister said that the total amount of aid from Germany had reached €60 million for that “we are incredibly grateful to the German people and the government”.

He said he held a positive meeting with the German foreign minister and discussed matters related to climate change, floods in Pakistan, green energy and ways to enhance the bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges.

Bilawal said that Pakistan had less than 1% of the global carbon footprint but the country was among the top climate-affected countries in the world. "I want to get justice for my people,” said Bilawal, flanked by Foreign Minister Baerbock.

He added that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had already warned of a second catastrophe following the floods in the shape of diseases, adding that “we have concerns about food security, while economic consequences of this tragedy will continue to get worse if we are unable to address it”.

The minister said that Germany was the driving engine of the Europe’s economy and politics, “so our bilateral relations assume crucial significance”. He added: ”We seek enduring solutions for global peace and security. Decades of goodwill and cooperation must be translated into deeper collaboration.”

He told reporters that since his last meeting with the German minister, the ground realities in Pakistan had fundamentally shifted because of the “a weather event of biblical proportions”. After the flood devastation, he added, Pakistan aspired to build back in a greener and more climate-resilient manner.

He expressed confidence that the mutual desire to deepen relations would prove to be a win-win for both the countries. “We have good discussions on ways to enhance our collaboration in trade, investment, higher education, technology and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.

“We have a significant Pakistani community in Germany who are positively contributing to the German society. It is a strong bridge between the two countries. Germany is one of our largest trading partners. Trade is increasing. GSP+ [Generalised Scheme of Preference-Plus] status has been mutually beneficial."

He urged the international community to help the people of Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian tragedy and economic collapse. He also highlighted the grave human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and said the alarming situation posed risks for regional peace and stability.

The German minister, on the occasion, said that Pakistan could rely on the support of the German people and government. Pakistan can continue to rely on our solidarity. I look forward to continue the talks and engagements with you. Thank you for coming to Berlin today," she added.

On Ukraine situation, Baerbock said that every vote would count next week when the United Nations General Assembly gathered to vote on a resolution against Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories. Express concern, Bilawal said that Pakistan desired “dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the matter”.

On the Kashmir issue, the German minister said that she truly believed every country in the world had a role in resolving conflicts. "It is our responsibility to look at other regions where the situation is tense. We support the engagement of the UN to find peaceful solutions."

Later, Foreign Minister Bilawal visited the Pakistani embassy and inaugurated the digital tourism centre. He appreciated the step to promote the heritage and tourist spots of Pakistan through augmented and virtual reality. 

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