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The 2nd Session of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Brussels on 25 March 2014, between High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

The dialogue included wide-ranging consideration of regional and global issues and the good progress made in strengthening relations, including through the Five-Year Engagement Plan adopted in 2012.

The High Representative underlined the EU’s continued support for democratic institutions and rule of law in Pakistan. She referred to the transparent elections held in May 2013 and the contribution made by the EU election observation mission.
Pakistan thanked the European Union for its inclusion in the GSP + scheme. Both sides agreed that this could provide an important contribution to growth and employment in Pakistan as well as help it promote sustainable development and good governance objectives.

The Advisor highlighted the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan for promotion and protection of human rights, including women, children and minority groups. The High Representative welcomed these steps and encouraged efforts to fulfil international commitments in national laws, in particular with respect to the rights of women. Both sides agreed to continue dialogue and cooperation for the effective implementation of the relevant UN conventions in the context of GSP+.

The Pakistani side also elaborated on the security situation and the new National Internal Security Policy (NISP) of Pakistan. The High Representative appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and stability. The High Representative assured of the EU’s continued support and cooperation towards successful and effective implementation of NISP and shared the EU’s experience in this regard.

The two sides agreed that a first dialogue on non-proliferation and disarmament should take place as soon as possible.

In response to Pakistan’s suggestion, the EU side assured that development cooperation would be responsive to the demands of the expanding Strategic Dialogue between EU and Pakistan.

The Advisor and the High Representative also discussed matters related to the economy, energy, trade and migration. They agreed to further broaden and deepen cooperation under the Engagement Plan. This could include a strengthened dialogue in areas such as energy, climate change, research and higher education. The Advisor emphasized the importance of support for poverty alleviation, water for drinking and irrigation in remote and arid areas. The next Joint Commission in June will further elaborate this.

Both sides recognized the importance of mutual cooperation in the field of energy and agreed to establish an Energy Dialogue.

Islamabad
27 March 2014

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