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His Excellency Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan met with His Excellency Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today in Riyadh.

Highlighting the importance attached by Pakistan to its relations with the brotherly countries of the Gulf, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan sees GCC as an important player in the region that can play a vital role in further expanding political and economic ties between Pakistan and Gulf states.

The Foreign Minister and the Secretary General reviewed the status of Pakistan’s ongoing engagements and cooperation with the GCC and its member states. The Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction on the trajectory of the relationship and underscored the need for continuing this momentum going forward.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted the need for early finalization of the ongoing negotiations on Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreements and asked technical teams from both sides to synergize their efforts to achieve this common objective.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan wanted to further strengthen institutional linkages with GCC and its member states, in line with the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue between the two sides. He said that Pakistan would be ready to host the next round of Strategic Dialogue at an early mutually convenient date in Islamabad.

The Foreign Minister and the Secretary General also shared views on regional and global issues including Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Afghanistan and Yemen. The Foreign Minister briefed the Secretary General on Pakistan’s position and assessment on these issues and highlighted that Pakistan and the GCC countries have convergences of interests and positions on all issues of common concern.

10 November 2022

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