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Pakistan-Italy Political Bilateral Consultations were held in Islamabad today. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led the Pakistan delegation while the Italian side was led by Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Italy.

The two sides discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations including political, economic, educational and cultural cooperation. Noting with satisfaction the positive trajectory in the bilateral relations, they agreed to further expand the existing cooperation in the fields of trade and investment. Acknowledging the deepening defence ties they agreed to further strengthen cooperation in this area. The two sides also discussed issues pertaining to migration and readmission and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in these areas.

A wide range of regional and multilateral issues were also discussed. The Foreign Secretary gave an overview of the measures taken by the Government that had resulted in improved security situation and economic growth. The Italian side was apprised about the recent developments in the region, including the current situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the massive human rights violations that were being committed by the Indian security forces. The Pakistan side also briefed about the efforts to facilitate an intra-Afghan reconciliation. The Italian side acknowledged the important role being played by Pakistan in promoting peace and stability in the region.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between Pakistan and Italy at various multilateral fora, including the UN, and agreed to intensify this cooperation. They reiterated their principled position against inclusion of any new country as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

These annual consultations, at the Foreign Secretary level, are part of the institutional mechanism established under the Pakistan-Italy Enhanced Strategic Engagement Plan concluded in 2013.

18 October 2016

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