Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests
Honorable Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to join you today for the celebration of Europe Day – commemorated since 1950 to mark the declaration of the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, calling on European countries to pool together their coal and steel production, and laying the foundations of what is today a European Union of 28 Members States.

On this day in 1950, Robert Schuman in his famous speech given in the backdrop of two world wars said that: “World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.”

The concept and principles of the founding fathers of the European Union were truly visionary. The Europeans had fought two major wars within first fifty years of last century. Yet, an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity has blessed the Continent for the last sixty-five years, after this vision was implemented.

As international community is confronted by unprecedented challenges of enormous magnitude, never before has the need for creative and joint efforts to address them been so pronounced.

The international community fully appreciates European efforts for world peace and prosperity over the past six decades. Currently, the EU is facing several significant internal and external challenges, ranging from the Eurozone financial crisis and the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership to migratory pressures, and combating a heightened terrorism threat. We are fully sure that the Union would continue to find creative solutions to these problems as it has done several times in the past.

During this period, Pakistan has also strengthened its partnership with the EU in pursuit of shared objectives of peace, security and development. This partnership is an important pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy. It covers the whole gamut of bilateral relations and has grown from strength to strength over a period of time.

On this auspicious occasion, I wish to reaffirm Pakistan’s strong commitment to working closely with the EU in further strengthening partnership in order to realize our mutual goals.

Islamabad
9 May, 2016

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