Pakistan's Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi arrived in Brussels for a two-day visit. Upon arrival, he was received by Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium and European Union Naghmana Hashmi.
FM Qureshi will attend ceremony of Long Term Strategic Engagement dialogue agreement between Pakistan and EU to be signed on June 25, 2019 in the European External Action Service.
The signing ceremony will be attended by High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.
The Strategic Dialogue would cover issues relating to security, democracy, human rights, good governance and socio-economic development, trade and investment, energy and sectoral cooperation.
Strategic engagement Dialogue was initiated for a period of five years in June 2009 by the European Union to support newly established democracy in Pakistan after long period of military dictatorship in the country. After restoration of democracy in Pakistan, the EU had extended level of cooperation significantly which led to summit-level relation between EU and Pakistan, and help to Pakistan’s health and education sector was provided.
Unfortunately, Pakistan could not keep summit level relations with EU, after two summits, one with President Zardari and second with Prime minister Gillani.
After completion of five years, the SED was extended for another five years in 2014. Pakistan insisted that the SED should be permanent program to show the world that Pakistan is a stable democracy and comply with the international democratic norms and laws. In recognition of Pakistan's compliance to the SED conditionality, EU agreed to have an agreement for long term engagement with Pakistan.
Pakistan's Ambassador to European Union Naghmana Hashmi told GEO News "Pakistan has convinced European Union that its has progressed a lot since first five years of signing the SED… We are not a sanctioned country to be judged every five years. Moreover, Pakistan is a country of 222 million people with great social, and economic potential. Therefore, we deserve permanent strategic dialogue position with EU.”
Today, FM Qureshi will meet Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO HQ to discuss security issues, particularly Afghanistan. Furthermore, he will address Pakistani community in Belgium.
On June 25, Foreign Minster Qureshi will meet defense and security committee of European council and European Union High representative for Foreign Affairs Frederica Mogherini.