Remarks by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for being here this afternoon.

Let me begin by welcoming Her Excellency Julie Bishop and her delegation, to Islamabad. The visit is a testimony to the friendship between our two countries.

Pakistan and Australia enjoy excellent relations, which are based on mutual respect and shared interests. In our talks today, we agreed to further strengthen the relations by extending the scope of cooperation in diverse fields.

We agreed to further consolidate the existing friendly people-to-people contacts, underpinned by the presence of 80,000 strong Pakistani diaspora and around 13,000 Pakistani students in Australia.

We focused on the need for regular political exchanges between Pakistan and Australia, including high level visits. We feel that exchange of Parliamentary visits is important.

We agreed on expanding trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Australia. I urged Foreign Minister Bishop to consider proposals for providing greater market access to Pakistani products in the Australian market.

Pakistan greatly appreciates Australian development cooperation program.

Pakistan would like to strengthen interaction with Australia in agriculture, livestock and water resource management. We want both the countries to focus more on sports and culture.

Pakistan and Australia share common perceptions in combating terrorism. We resolved to continue our cooperation on counter-terrorism and transnational crime.

We also discussed regional and global issues of importance.

The Foreign Secretary-level talks between Pakistan and Australia were held in Canberra in March this year. The talks were preceded by the Defense and Security Dialogue in Islamabad in February 2015. Foreign Minister Bishop’s visit to Pakistan would lead to further enhancing our bilateral relations in all fields of importance.

The visit not only provided a good opportunity to review bilateral relations, but also discuss matters relating to the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Australia. The Australian Prime Minister Mr. Tony Abbott had extended an invitation to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to visit Australia during the World Cup in February-March 2015, but due to other engagements this visit could not take place. We agreed that the visit will now take place within this year or early next year.

Now, I invite Her Excellency, the Foreign Minister of Australia, for her remarks.

Islamabad
06 May, 2015

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