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The 11th round of Bilateral Political Consultations between Pakistan and Switzerland was held in Islamabad on 12 November 2021. Dr Muhammad Tariq, Additional Secretary (Europe), led the Pakistan side, while the Swiss side was headed by Ambassador Raphael Nägeli, Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and Pacific, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

The two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations, including political, economic, trade and investment. Cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, defence and security, agriculture, and at multilateral fora were also part of the parleys. Both sides expressed satisfaction on the existing cooperation mechanisms and agreed to further enhance the bilateral relationship.

Recognizing the vast potential of the two economies for mutually beneficial cooperation, the two sides agreed to take concrete steps to further enhance and expand bilateral economic and commercial interactions. Both sides stressed the importance of regular high-level exchanges.

On regional situation, the Additional Secretary underlined the grim situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and Indian government’s unilateral actions to alter its demographic structure. Moreover, views were exchanged on the situation in Afghanistan. Highlighting Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the evacuations from Afghanistan, the Additional Secretary apprised the Swiss side of Pakistan’s help in evacuation endeavours as well as support for efforts for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The Swiss side appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and conveyed gratitude for Pakistan’s assistance in evacuation of Swiss nationals and others from Afghanistan.

Ambassador Nägeli also called on Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest were discussed. The Foreign Secretary highlighted the government’s shift from geopolitics to geo-economics. While sharing Pakistan’s perspective on the situation in Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary underscored the importance of the international community’s constructive engagement with Afghanistan to address common concerns and advance shared interests.

Pakistan and Switzerland enjoy close and friendly relations, both at bilateral and multilateral levels. Switzerland is one of the leading investors in Pakistan. The mechanism of Bilateral Political Consultations provides a useful platform to review bilateral relations and discusses future areas of cooperation.

Islamabad

12 November 2021

577/2021
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