ISLAMABAD - The European Union Ambassador to Islamabad Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said Thursday that EU and Pakistan would have a second round of strategic dialogue in Brussels on Tuesday (March 25), which would cover a broad range of issues like trade, investment and counter terrorism.
The Prime Minister advisor on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz would be travelling to Brussels soon to meet EU higher representative for foreign affairs and security policy Cathy Ashton in Brussels, to follow up the five-year programme agreed between the two sides in 2012, said the EU envoy at a reception here.
However, Lars-Gunnar played down expectations about the outcome of these talks, saying no breakthrough should be expected. Both the sides would have comprehensive talks on issues like democracy, socio-economic development, human rights, energy and trade reforms, Generalised System of Preferences Plus, investment, security, law enforcement, disarmament, Afghanistan in post 2014, Iran, Middle East and Syrian situation, he said. When questioned on EU stance on recent initiative of the government to have a dialogue with Pakistan Tahreek-e-Taliban, he said it would support whatever decision was taken by the democratically elected government. Asked to comment on the moratorium on executions in Pakistan, he said the EU welcomed the decision of the government to maintain it.
He said illegal immigration from Pakistan to the EU would also come up for discussion during the strategic dialogue because this issue was making it difficult for the legal Pakistani migrants to get EU visa. The envoy said in 20 years time there was going to be big labour deficiency in EU members, so there would be great opportunities for talented young Pakistanis to get jobs there.
Referring to Pak-India warming relations for bilateral trade, the envoy said it had the full blessings of the EU because it believed trade relations between the ‘two giants’ would benefit both the countries. Their economic ties would improve the prospects for tackling the ‘intransigent disputes’ between the two neighbours, he added.