The 4th round of Bilateral Political Consultations between Pakistan and Austria was held in Vienna yesterday. Additional Secretary (Europe) Zaheer A. Janjua and Ms. Gabriele Méon-Tschürtz, Head of Asia Division of the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria led their respective delegations.
The two sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and identified areas for further cooperation in political, economic, trade, investment, education and cultural fields. The Additional Secretary highlighted the progress made by Pakistan in strengthening democracy and human rights as well as its emerging economy and future prospects of growth. He invited Austrian companies to benefit from Pakistan’s investor friendly policies, particularly in energy, information and communication technology, oil and gas, water and waste management, tourism and agriculture.
The Additional Secretary briefed the Austrian side on the situation in South Asia, notably the Indian aggression and Pakistan’s measured response. Pakistan had also taken several steps to de-escalate the situation, including release of the captured Indian pilot as a gesture of peace and convening of the meeting in connection with opening of Kartarpur Corridor. He added that Pakistan had renewed its offer of dialogue to India to address all outstanding issues.
The Additional Secretary briefed the Austrian side on the human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The Additional Secretary also briefed on Pakistan’s efforts aimed at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He emphasized that a politically negotiated settlement, led and owned by the Afghans, was the only viable way forward. The Austrian side expressed support for Pakistan’s constructive role in the Afghan peace process.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the level of cooperation at the international fora, including the UN and the European Union, and agreed to continue supporting each other.
Pakistan considers Austria an important EU country. The Consultations provided an opportunity to take stock of overall relations and discuss ways and means to further enhance cooperation in diverse fields. The next round of Pakistan-Austria Bilateral Political Consultations would be held in Islamabad in 2020 at mutually convenient dates.
29 March 2019