Office of the Spokesperson, Mofa Pakistan
5th Round of Pakistan-Italy Annual Bilateral Political Consultations
The 5th Round of Pakistan-Italy Annual Bilateral Political Consultations was held virtually today. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood led the Pakistan side, while Secretary General of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni led the Italian delegation. Entire spectrum of bilateral relations including fight against the Pandemic; political, trade and economic relations; energy; defence; migration and people-to-people exchanges were reviewed during the Consultations. Views were also exchanged on regional and global issues.
Agreeing that Pakistan and Italy have exemplary relations based on mutual trust and principles of cooperation, the two sides resolved to further expand the relationship in all dimensions.
Foreign Secretary expressed condolences over loss of lives in Italy due to Covid-19 and commended the efforts of the Italian Government in containing the pandemic. He briefed his counterpart on the measures taken by the Government of Pakistan to control the second wave of Covid-19, while saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy. The two sides exchanged views on the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and discussed ways of mitigating the adverse effects.
The Foreign Secretary also briefed the Italian side on the vast investment opportunities and avenues in Pakistan and assured that Italian companies and investors will be fully facilitated in all sectors. He thanked the Italian side for its support on GSP Plus status for Pakistan with the European Union. The Foreign Secretary emphasized the need to increase business-to-business interface as soon as the Covid situation subsides.
The Foreign Secretary highlighted the importance of strong Pakistani diaspora in Italy, which acts as a bridge between the two countries. He appreciated Pakistan’s re-inclusion in the seasonal visa program and non-seasonal work visas and stated that the two sides should work together to streamline matters related to migration.
The Foreign Secretary briefed on the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) and the attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. He stressed that the international community must take full cognizance of the deteriorating situation in IIOJK and support peaceful settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.
With regard to Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary underlined that there was no military solution to the conflict and that a negotiated political settlement was the only way forward. He highlighted Pakistan’s positive contributions to the Afghan peace process and stressed the importance for the Afghan stakeholders to seize this historic opportunity to secure durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Foreign Secretary underlined the need for reduction of violence leading to ceasefire and the imperative of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.
The Foreign Secretary congratulated Italy on assuming Presidency of G-20 and co-Presidency of COP-26. The two sides expressed satisfaction on existing strong cooperation at international fora, in particular at the United Nations, including on the issue of Security Council Reforms. They agreed to work together to further deepen mutual cooperation in the multilateral arena.
The next round of Bilateral Political Consultations will be held next year on mutually agreed dates.
27 January 2021
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad
Pakistan joins the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO) as a founding member
Pakistan has joined the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO) as a founding member. Established under an initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, other countries that have been invited to join as founding members include Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE.
The Organisation was launched at a virtual event today, hosted by H.E. Mr. Abdullah Al-Swaha, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi participated with a video statement.
Lauding the far-sighted initiative of the Saudi Minister of Communication and Information Technology, the Foreign Minister noted that, at a time when the digital economy is estimated to be worth over USD 11 trillion and is set to expand further in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the creation of DCO would cater to the growing need of international cooperation and collaboration in the digital domain. DCO would offer a platform to promote the global digital agenda in the scientific, health, educational, commercial, social, agricultural, investment and security spheres.
Digital Diplomacy has been a core component of the Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy Initiative. The Foreign Minister chairs a dedicated Digital Diplomacy working group comprising some of Pakistan’s brightest IT experts, to bring innovation and enhance Pakistan’s digital diplomacy footprint. For countries like Pakistan, with a talented and well-trained pool of human resource sought globally, the information revolution presents a unique opportunity to leapfrog the development deficit. Pakistan’s membership of DCO would contribute to the attainment of that objective.
26 November 2020
This initiative is from China, but it belongs to the world. It is rooted in history, but it is oriented toward the future
President Xi Jinping
BRI initiative to promote Asia-Pacific Cooperation
The Belt and Road Initiative calls for joint contribution and it has a clear focus, which is to promote infrastructure construction and connectivity, strengthen coordination on economic policies, enhance complementarity of development strategies and boost interconnected development to achieve common prosperity. This initiative is from China, but it belongs to the world. It is rooted in history, but it is oriented toward the future. It focuses on the Asian, European and African continents, but it is open to all partners. I am confident that the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative will create a broader and more dynamic platform for Asia-Pacific cooperation.
To Foster Partnership APEC has fostered a partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, something we all hold dear. As we Asia-Pacific countries vary in national conditions, differences among us are normal. What is important is for us to stay committed to the shared goal of common development, address differences through consultation and explore solutions to common challenges in the spirit of partnership.
To adhere to the development
We should focus on development to deliver more benefits to our peoples. More than anything else, we should strive to deliver better lives to our people. Every country is entitled to an equal right to development; and no one has the right or the power to stop people in developing countries from pursuing a better life. We should strengthen development cooperation and help developing countries eliminate poverty so that people in all countries will live better lives. This is what fairness is essentially about; it is also a moral responsibility of the international community.
Source: Xi’s Moments