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EU countries should provide GSP Plus facility to Pakistan: PM Gilani

06 July, 2009

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has urged the EU countries to provide GSP Plus facility to Pakistan and facilitate Pakistanís bid for signing the FTA. He said that enhanced trade not aid, in the long run, would help Pakistan in its economic recovery and in turn quelling the militancy and extremism by undertaking development projects and creating employment opportunities in the affected areas.

He was talking to Mr Luis Amado, Foreign Minister of Portugal who called on him at the PM House Monday morning.

The Prime Minister emphasized the imperative of resolution of the core issue of Kashmir and water dispute with India to enable Pakistan to fully focus on its western border in the interest of regional stability and a peaceful South Asia.

The Prime Minister called for the international communityís whole hearted participation in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure work in the affected areas. He said that unless Pakistan is able to win the hearts and minds of the affected people, the military success against militants alone will not bring in the desired results. He said that the EU should play its role in the capacity building of Pakistanís law enforcement agencies by properly equipping them and providing social safety net for the families of their personnel who have lost their lives.

Prime Minister also sought the help of the Government of Portugal in institutionalizing the framework of Pakistan-EU Summit. He noted that Spain had indicated to host the second Pakistan-EU Summit during its EU Presidency next year. On the bilateral front, the Prime Minister underlined the need for reinvigorating of ties between Pakistan and Portugal through enhanced comprehensive partnership. He called for regular high level exchanges and people to people contact between the two countries to foster stronger political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

Mr Luis Amado, Foreign Minister of Portugal agreed with the Prime Minister for adding new dimension to the bilateral relations by putting in place institutional frameworks and enhanced contacts between the two countries. In the context of EU, the Foreign Minister said that Portugal will be supporting Pakistan as it is playing a pivotal role in the region adding that his country will use its goodwill with Spain to encourage it to host the second Pakistan-EU Summit. He also pledged his countryís support for providing Pakistan greater market access for its products and for exploring the possibility of FTA between EU and Pakistan.

Senator Sughra Imam, Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Mr. Jose M. Sanatos Braga and other senior government officials were present during the meeting.


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