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Pakistan-Finland Bilateral Political Consultations were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, today. Additional Secretary (Europe) Mr. Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui led the Pakistani delegation while the Finnish side was led by Mr. Kimmo Lahdevirta, Director General (Asia and Americas), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

A wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed during the consultations. The Additional Secretary gave an overview of recent developments in Pakistan including achievements of the government to improve law and order, efforts for improving the economy and overcoming the energy shortages. He also briefed his Finnish counterpart about the efforts of the government to fight terrorism and extremism and the successes achieved during the ongoing military operation (Zarb-e-Azb) against terrorists.

The Additional Secretary also gave an overview of the government’s policy of peaceful neighborhood, particularly its endeavours to normalize relations with India and to facilitate an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan.

The Finnish side while acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices in the war against terrorism, emphasized on joint efforts to defeat the menace of terrorism since it is a global problem.

The two sides also deliberated upon ways to further strengthen the bilateral economic cooperation as well as increased interaction in political, defence, educational and cultural spheres.

It was decided to hold the next round of Bilateral Political Consultations in Helsinki, next year.

17 May 2016

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