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PM Shehbaz for enhancing Pak-EU multi-faceted ties

Blinken says US looking forward to boosting its ‘broad-based’ ties with Pakistan

Highlighting strong economic, trade and investment ties between Pakistan and the European Union, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday expressed the desire to further strengthen this multi-faceted relationship in diverse sectors, including climate change and legal migration.

Talking to Thomas Seiler, Charge d’ Affairs, Delegation of the EU to Pakistan, who called on him, Shehbaz underscored the importance of regular high-level exchanges between the two sides to deepen bilateral collaboration and enhance mutual cooperation on issues of peace and stability in the regional and international context.

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According to a statement, the charge d’ affairs congratulated the prime minister on assuming office and conveyed best wishes of the European Council president and the EU Commission head.

The prime minister thanked the charge d’ affairs for his felicitations and underlined the importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with the EU and its member states.

Thomas Seiler affirmed EU’s commitment to further enhance cooperation with Pakistan.

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Pakistan and EU are celebrating the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. Events marking this milestone are envisaged to be held both in Islamabad and Brussels.

Separately, the United States reiterated its desire to strengthen its “broad-based” bilateral relations with Pakistan when Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

“The secretary (of state) underscored the resolute US-Pakistan commitment to Afghan stability and combatting terrorism,” Price said in a statement issued in Washington after the phone call with Bilawal.

“The secretary (of state) and foreign minister also highlighted on-going engagement[s] on trade and investment, climate, energy, health, and education,” the statement said, noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of US-Pakistani relations.

“We look forward to strengthening our cooperation,” the statement added.

On Wednesday, responding to a question at his daily news briefing, Price said the US would continue cooperating with Pakistan on counter-terrorism and border security, reiterating Washington’s condemnation of last month’s terrorist attack in Karachi University amid spike in such attacks across the country.

“We value our bilateral relationship. We want to continue to work together in areas where we do have mutual interests with our Pakistani partners. That includes counter-terrorism. That includes border security as well,” he had said.

Price was reacting to the question whether the US was reviewing the former Trump administration-imposed suspension of security aid to Islamabad following the deadly terrorist attack in Karachi, as such attacks emanating from Afghanistan continue to rise across Pakistan.

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