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(2017-06-06) The third round of Pakistan-Finland Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) was held in Helsinki on June 5, 2017. The Pakistan delegation was led by Ambassador Zaheer A. Janjua, Additional Secretary (Europe), while Ambassador Anne Marjaana Sipilainen, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Finnish side.

The two sides undertook a comprehensive review of the bilateral relations and agreed to enhance cooperation in diverse spheres, especially in the fields of economy, trade, commerce, energy, industry, investment, agriculture, IT and telecom, science and technology, education, cultureand parliamentary exchanges.

The two sides also exchanged views on the peace and security environments in their respective regions. The Additional Secretary briefed on Pakistan’s efforts to reach out to Afghanistan and India as part of the Prime Minister’s vision for a peaceful neighborhood. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to constructively contribute towards the promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as commitment to dialogue with India for the resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He also highlighted the atrocities being perpetrated against unarmed innocent Kashmiri civilians by the Indian security forces.Ambassador Sipilainen provided a detailed expose of the security situation prevailing around Finland and in Europe.

The Finnish side was apprised of the investment opportunities in Pakistan in the wake of improved law and order situation. Emphasis was also laid on strengthening of economic and trade relations by regular interactions between the business circles of the two countries.

International issues of mutual interest also came under discussion and the two sides decided to enhance cooperation at the UN and other multilateral fora.The Additional Secretary apprised the Finnish side of Pakistan’s credentials for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), while emphasizing the need for a criteria-based, non-discriminatory approach for new non-NPT member states.

Pakistan and Finland enjoy cordial relations and closely cooperate bilaterally as well as at the multilateral fora. Finland is an important country in the Nordic region and there are several major Finnish multinationalcompanies operating in Pakistan. The annual Bilateral Political Consultations provide a useful platform to review progress in various fields and identify opportunities for future cooperation. The second session of BPC was held in Islamabad on May17, 2016 and the next session will take pace in Islamabad at mutually convenient dates in 2018.

06 June 2017

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