BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday offered to send observers to Pakistan's elections due to be held in May, in a bid to ensure a "peaceful, credible" vote that will be "acceptable" to all.
The vote for the first time would enable the transition of power from one elected government to another, marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term in the country.
"The EU looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people," EU foreign ministers said in a statement released after talks.
The 27-nation bloc "is ready to assist by deploying an election observation mission, as a tangible sign of our support for the democratic process," the statement added.
The ministers also said they looked forward to re-energising ties with the next government and hoped quick contacts could lead to a third EU-Pakistan summit.
They recalled that the EU had given Pakistan better market access to help it overcome economic problems linked to natural disasters, and welcomed Pakistan's "constructive role in promoting a secure Afghanistan and supporting an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process."