The Ambassador called on Mr. Andriy Zayats, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to discuss different matters of bilateral interest. The Ambassador expressed that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relationship with Ukraine. Both countries enjoy friendly relations and there is a great potential for further strengthening ties between the two countries. The Ambassador further added that the last Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) took place on June 06, 2016 in Kyiv and the next round of BPC is supposed to take place this year (in 2019) in Islamabad. This would help in further streamlining cooperation and identifying more avenues for engagement between the two countries.

The ambassador also briefed the State Secretary in detail about the new liberalized visa policy 2019 of Pakistan. In the new visa policy, Pakistan Government has extended the e-visa facility to all Ukrainian nationals and visa on arrival facility to Ukrainian businessmen. The processing time as well as the visa fee has also been drastically reduced. This new visa policy will positively impact people to people contacts between the two countries. The issue of pending agreements on consular matters was also raised during the meeting. The Ambassador said that pending agreements on Readmission and Visa Abolition needs to be negotiated and finalized at the earliest.

The Ambassador further added that the Travel Advisory for Pakistan was issued by the Government of Ukraine on October 10, 2016. Since then, the security situation in Pakistan has much improved. Business and investment climate have also seen considerable upsurge. The Ambassador expressed that, keeping in view the improved security situation, Pakistan would highly appreciate if the Government of Ukraine positively revises its Travel Advisory for Pakistan. This would greatly enhance the number of Ukrainian tourist to Pakistan.

The State Secretary, in response, highly appreciated Pakistan’s new visa regime and very keenly addressed each and every point raised by the Ambassador. The State Secretary extended felicitations and expressed best wishes on appointment of His Excellency Sohail Mahmood as new Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. In this regard, a congratulatory letter was handed over to the Ambassador by the State Secretary. He expressed his earnest desire to invite his counterpart to visit Ukraine at the earliest convenience. At the same time, he said that he is willing to visit Pakistan anytime between July-September 2019 to give a boost to the bilateral relations between our countries. He also endorsed the proposal of holding BPC at the earliest. He informed that Ukraine will be able to extend Pakistan the e-visa facility and visa on arrival facility once the readmission agreement is signed between the two countries. He also promised to direct the officials of consular department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to have a meeting with Embassy of Pakistan, Kyiv to negotiate the agreement on abolition of visas.

The Sate Secretary promised to revise the Travel Advisory for Pakistan very soon. He also proposed participation of Pakistan tour operators in tourism fairs, which are held twice a year in Ukraine, to highlight the tourism potential of Pakistan. At the end, the Sate Secretary once again reiterated the importance of political dialogue and high level exchanges to promote meaningful engagement between the two countries.

Kyiv,
April 11, 2019

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