FM Qureshi calls for reviewing PIA flights ban in Europe

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stressed on reviewing the decision to suspend Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights into Europe.
In a telephonic conversation with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, the foreign minister conveyed concern on the suspension of PIA flights into Europe by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
He underlined that the steps being taken by the government are to ensure highest level of flight safety in PIA operations and that national airline remains committed to maintain the highest standards and quality in its air operations.
Foreign Minister also offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Europe due to coronavirus. He acknowledged the efforts of the European Commission to come up with a coordinated strategy to deal with the pandemic.
He underlined the steps taken by the government of Pakistan to save lives, secure livelihoods, and stimulate the economy. He thanked the European Union for its support to Pakistan in its endeavours to tackle the oubreak.
The foreign minister conveyed the desire to expand cooperation between Pakistan and the EU, and hoped that Pakistani nationals will not be subjected to any restrictions or discrimination when travel restrictions are relaxed by the European Union.
The two dignitaries exchanged views on a range of subjects related to Pakistan-EU partnership including trade, next phase of GSP Plus, and early operationalisation of Strategic Engagement Plan.
He suggested that the two sides may also engage in a structured dialogue on migration-related matters, while exploring opportunities for skilled human resources from Pakistan.
The foreign minister also apprised his EU counterpart on the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and the latest moves by the Indian government to perpetuate its illegal occupation. He stressed the need for urgent steps to address the grave situation.
The High Representative of the European Union condoled with the foreign minister on the loss of precious lives in the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The foreign minister underlined concerns about externally-sponsored terrorism and India’s material support to terrorist outfits targeting Pakistan.
Qureshi invited the High Representative to visit Pakistan once the pandemic subsides which he accepted. Josep Borrell stated that he also looks forward to welcoming the Foreign Minister in Brussels in the near future.
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