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Mr. Ric Wells, Deputy Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australian Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan called on Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. While welcoming Mr. Ric Wells, SAPM expressed satisfaction over the positive trajectory of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Australia, manifest in increased interaction on political, economic, defence and security related issues. He stressed that trade and economic ties should be further strengthened to the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The SAPM briefed the Australian Special Representative on the Prime Minister’s vision of peace for development and peaceful neighbourhood. He emphasized that Pakistan is committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan, as a stable and economically developed Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital interest. Pakistan has made sincere efforts for reconciliation towards Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The use of force has not worked in Afghanistan for the last fifteen years and will not be helpful in bringing about a lasting peace in that country.

Mr. Ric Wells expressed Australia’s continuing interest in enhancing relations with Pakistan in a range of fields. Underlining the importance of boosting trade and commercial ties, he said that both Pakistan and Australia would discuss ways and means to expand economic relations in the sixth round of Joint Trade Committee meeting, being held in Islamabad on 1 June, 2016 in the Ministry of Commerce. He appreciated Pakistan’s positive role in the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

31 May 2016

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