ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that economic stability was a precondition for an independent foreign policy.

In a video message before departure to Kenya, he said, “we are moving ahead on economic diplomacy pursuing it as a principle in foreign policy.”

“Economic stability is essential for a free and independent foreign policy,” he said, adding, to pursue this goal, the Foreign Ministry has adopted economic diplomacy as a rule and “we are moving forward.”

Foreign Minister Qureshi later left for Kenya on a two-day visit to take part in “Engage Africa” conference as part the government’s policy of economic diplomacy.

He said, the Foreign Office of Pakistan was organizing ‘Engage Africa’ Conference in Kenya to enhance trade and investment in the African continent.

The minister said that Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood will chair the conference and a delegation of about one hundred businessmen from Pakistan will accompany him.

He said important personalities of the business community in African countries had also been invited to the conference with an aim to increase the volume of trade and investment with the African countries. Qureshi said he will call on the President of Kenya and also hold a meeting with his Kenyan counterpart.

The Foreign Minister said he will make efforts to strengthen and expand Pakistan’s relations not only with Kenya, but other African countries as well. 

The two-day first-ever Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference will commence in Nairobi tomorrow (January 30).

Besides Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood will participate in the Conference. During the visit, the Foreign Minister will hold meetings with the Kenyan leadership, including Cabinet Secretaries for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The conference will also be attended by a strong contingent of business-people and entrepreneurs from Pakistan, who will interact with their African counterparts.