ISLAMABAD, Sep 7 (APP): Pakistan and Portugal agreed to
continue cooperation on consular matters as well as ways to further expand people to people contacts through educational and cultural linkages.
The bilateral relations were discussed during the first round
of Pakistan Portugal Bilateral Political Consultations held at Lisbon.
Additional Foreign Secretary Iftekhar Aziz led the Pakistan
delegation while the Portuguese side was led by Francisco Durate Lopes, Political Director, said a Foreign Office statement.
The two sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual
interest including inter alia trade and investment, defence and cultural cooperation, people to people contacts and parliamentary exchanges. Both sides stressed on the need to enhance bilateral cooperation in these diverse areas.
The additional foreign secretary also called on the secretary
general as well as the secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He also paid a courtesy call on the President of the Pakistan
Portugal Parliamentary Friendship Group. During the visit, he also met representatives of selected think tanks.
The additional foreign secretary gave an overview of
achievements of the present government in improving law and order situation, strengthening institutions and economic revival.
He highlighted the successes achieved in the Operation Zarb e Azb and the implementation of National Action Plan to defeat terrorism and extremism from the country.
The Portuguese side was also apprised about the latest
situation in the region, especially in the context of grave human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan’s strong credentials for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group were also highlighted.
The Pakistan side gave a detailed briefing about Pakistan’s
efforts towards regional peace and stability. The situation in South Asia and the Middle East also came under discussion.
The Portuguese side acknowledged the important role being
played by Pakistan in promoting regional peace. Views on issues such as migration and fight against terrorism were also exchanged.
Pakistan offered Portugal a seat at the Foreign Service
Academy for diplomats from Portugal, which was accepted.
Pakistan and Portugal also agreed to continue close
cooperation at various multilateral fora. It was agreed to hold the next round of Bilateral Political Consultations in Islamabad next year on a mutually agreed date.