Sat, 20 Jul 2019

Brussels [Belgium], Jun 25 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), here on Monday and briefed him on the security issues concerning the tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Qureshi who met Stoltenberg here at intergovernmental alliance's headquarters in Belgium informed the latter that India was not willing to cooperate despite continued efforts by Islamabad, alongside its peace efforts for South Asia, Geo News reported.

After the meeting, Qureshi was quoted as saying that the talks were important for the Pakistan-NATO understanding and relationship.

Meanwhile, Stoltenberg appreciated Pakistan's efforts and sacrifices for peace and stability in the South and Central Asian region, particularly in Afghanistan.

Qureshi on Sunday arrived in Brussels on a two-day official visit to sign a Long Term Strategic Engagement Dialogue agreement with European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, Radio Pakistan reported.

Before leaving for his visit, Qureshi had said, "Pakistan has been cooperating with NATO and we extended unprecedented help to US and NATO forces in matters pertaining to Afghanistan."The Strategic Engagement Dialogue (SED) would cover issues relating to security, democracy, human rights, good governance and socio-economic development, trade and investment, energy and sectoral cooperation.

The SED was initiated for a period of five years in June 2009 by the EU to support the newly established democracy in Pakistan after a long period of military dictatorship.

After the restoration of democracy in Pakistan, the EU had extended the level of cooperation significantly which led to summit-level relation between EU and Pakistan, and help to the country's health and education sector was provided.

Unfortunately, Pakistan could not keep summit level relations with EU after two summits, one with President Asif Ali Zardari and second with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

After completion of five years, the SED was extended for another five years in 2014. Pakistan insisted that the SED should be a permanent program to show the world that Pakistan is a stable democracy and it complied with the international democratic norms and laws. In recognition of Pakistan's compliance with the SED conditionality, the EU agreed to have an agreement for long term engagement with Pakistan. (ANI)

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