Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs meets the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Greece and Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs & Defence, on sidelines of the 12th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ASEMFM12)
1. The Foreign Ministers of Japan, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Greece and Singapore acknowledged the huge sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. They appreciated Pakistan's resolve against terrorism and noted the success achieved in recent counterterrorism operations. They also expressed support to Pakistan's efforts for economic revival and stressed the need to further strengthen cooperation for improving the opportunities for trade and investment in Pakistan. The Foreign Ministers emphasized Pakistan's role in bringing peace to Afghanistan and promoting meaningful dialogue between Taliban and Afghan Government. They also expressed sympathies for the victims of earthquake that struck Pakistan last month.
2. They expressed these views in their bilateral meetings with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, on the sidelines of the 12th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ASEMFM12), held in Luxembourg on 5-6 November 2015.
3. Mr. Sartaj Aziz reviewed bilateral relations with respective Foreign Ministers and shared views on regional and international situation. He briefed his counterparts on the positive developments in Pakistan in the past two years including the strengthening of the democratic process, revival of economy and decisive action against terrorism. Mr. Sartaj Aziz stressed that democratic institutions in the country were strong, backed by independent judiciary, free media, and vibrant civil society. This had in turn enabled the government to strengthen implementation of human rights.
4. Mr. Sartaj Aziz also discussed regional and international situation, with particular focus on Afghanistan, Pakistan-India relations and the situation in the Middle East. He briefed his counterparts on the efforts being made to pursue the policy of peaceful neighborhood and improved regional connectivity. He briefed his counterparts on Pakistan's desire to improve relations with India through sustained dialogue. Indian firing across the Line of Control and the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir also came under discussion.
5. In the meeting with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, the two sides examined prospects of early initiation of FTA negotiations and agreed to discuss this matter at Joint Government Business Dialogue (JGBD), being held in Islamabad on 10 November 2015. They also agreed to discuss at the upcoming JGBD, Pakistan's request for inclusion of its textile in Japan's Temporary Tariff Measures. The Adviser extended an invitation to Japanese Foreign Minister and reiterated the invitation for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit Pakistan.
6. Mr. Sartaj Aziz discussed the forthcoming World Climate Summit in Paris with Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders and hoped that the outcome of the Summit would create institutional incentives for clean/renewable energy, particularly for the developing countries. Since the Netherlands in set to assume EU Presidency in January 2016, the two leaders discussed Pakistan's compliance to GSP+ requirements, implementation of Blasphemy Laws and Death Penalty.
7. In meeting with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence Dr. Mohammad Maliki Bin Osman of Singapore, the two sides agreed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-Singapore diplomatic relations in 2016. Both sides agreed to use the occasion to revitalize their bilateral relations. Noting that a high-level visit from Singapore is long overdue, the Adviser extended invitations to Dr. Maliki and the Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to visit Pakistan and hoped that the Prime Minister of Singapore would also undertake a visit to Pakistan in 2016.
8. In meeting with Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen of Denmark, the two sides discussed climate change and bilateral cooperation in energy sector, particularly renewable energy.
9. Mr. Sartaj Aziz's meetings with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias focused on Afghanistan. They also discussed the problems arising from the large flow of refugees from Syria, Iraq and other countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan. They appreciated Pakistan's experience of hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over three-decades. While expressing satisfaction at Pakistan's compliance of Readmission Agreement with the EU, they agreed on the need to further streamline the procedure for an efficient implementation of the Readmission Agreement.
6 November 2015