Pakistan and Italy sign Strategic Engagement Plan

Friday, February 1st, 2013 8:07:47 by

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata Friday signed a Strategic Engagement Plan in Rome, to further cement and expand the multifarious ties between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said in Islamabad.


Foreign Minister Khar visited Italy on the invitation of her Italian counterpart. The agreement which was concluded following consultations between the two Foreign Ministers represents an important landmark in Pakistan-Italy bilateral relationship.


It would serve as an overarching framework for mutual cooperation across the entire spectrum of bilateral relations through regular institutionalized contacts at the Ministerial and Foreign Secretary level. It envisages cooperation in the fields of trade, development, defence, energy, culture, migration and education.


Earlier in the day, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano received Foreign Minister Khar at the Presidency. They had an exchange of views on matters of bilateral and regional interest.


Thanking the Italian President for Italy’s support to Pakistan for greater market access in the EU and humanitarian assistance during the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods, she underlined the need for continued assistance on this score.


Foreign Minister Khar also co-launched the Italian version of the book “Churches of Pakistan” with Foreign Minister Terzi, at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The book is a pictorial collection of churches in Pakistan and highlights Pakistan’s commitment to inter-religious harmony, peace and tolerance.


During her daylong visit, the Foreign Minister also addressed a select gathering of journalists, analysts and diplomats at an event organized by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). She highlighted Pakistan’s contribution to peace and stability in the region and beyond. Her address was followed by an interactive session.


Pakistan-Italy bilateral relations are characterized by warmth and commonality of views on various regional and international issues. In addition to being Pakistan’s third largest trading partner in the EU, Italy is also home to a sizeable expatriate Pakistani community.


The signing of Strategic Engagement Plan will provide an impetus for further enhancing the mutually beneficial cooperation both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, the Foreign Ministry said.

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