NEW YORK, Sept 22 (APP): Ireland and Bulgaria have decided to expand channels of communications and consultations with Pakistan to further strengthen existing cordial relations and promote mutual understanding on regional and international issues.
This was decided in separate meetings of Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz with Foreign Minsters Charles Flanagen of Ireland and Daniel Mitov of Bulgaria held in New York on the sidelines of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Foreign Ministers of Ireland and Bulgaria appreciated Pakistan’s achievements in countering terrorism and sacrifices rendered by its people against this menace.
Sartaj Aziz noted that as a result of successful counterterrorism operations, the security situation in the country has improved, leading to higher economic growth rate and better investment climate in the country.
He welcomed investments from Ireland and Bulgaria in Pakistan.
Sartaj Aziz also briefed his counterparts on Pakistan-India relations and the situation in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK).
Elaborating on recent upsurge in the indigenous Kashmiri freedom movement, he highlighted human rights abuse perpetrated by Indian security forces with impunity in IOK.
Settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, was essential for peace and stability of South Asia, he added.
Foreign Minister Flanagen of Ireland briefed his Pakistani counterpart on economic priorities of his government, particularly in the wake of Brexit.
Unlike United Kingdom, Ireland was firmly wedded to the idea of European Union. He appreciated the contribution of Pakistani community, particularly its doctors and engineers, in economic and social fabric of Ireland.
Aziz urged furthering bilateral cooperation in education sector and hoped that more Pakistani students will get admissions in Irish universities.
They decided to strengthen existing consultations mechanisms by more frequent interaction at the Ministerial-level.
In meeting with Bulgarian Foreign Minister, the two sides discussed holding the second session of Inter-Government Commission in March 2017, to coincide with the first meeting of Bulgaria-Pakistan Business Forum.
Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov invited Adviser Aziz to visit Bulgaria.
Other issues raised during the two meetings were cooperation in multilateral organizations. Ireland and Bulgaria presented their respective candidatures for Security Council non-permanent seat and membership of Human Rights Council.
Pakistan application for membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group and the candidature of Dr. Sania Nishter for the post of Director General World Health Organization was also discussed.