MADRID: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met President of Spain’s Congress of Deputies Meritxell Batet and shared Pakistan’s progress in meeting the FATF’s Action Plan and discussed the Afghanistan situation.
On his arrival at Spain’s Parliament House, Foreign Minister Qureshi and his delegation were welcomed by Meritxell Batet. During the meeting, the foreign minister said Spain was Pakistan’s important partner in the European Union.
He said Pakistan was resolved to strengthen cooperation in multiple spheres and the recent visit of his Spanish counterpart also helped strengthen the bilateral ties.
Mentioning the celebration of 70 years of Pakistan-Spain diplomatic relations, the foreign minister emphasised the exchange of high-level delegations and parliamentary friendship groups.
Highlighting Pakistan’s successful strategy to tackle the COVID pandemic through smart lockdown, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposal for debt relief to the developing countries to help them overcome the economic impact of the pandemic was lauded globally.
The foreign minister said Pakistan always advocated for a political solution to Afghan issue and that after 40 years, an opportunity for revival of peace had come which should not be missed.
Referring to the recently held meeting of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan in Islamabad, the foreign minister called for taking solid steps for financial support of the Afghan people.
He also thanked Spain for donating 20 million euros for Afghanistan and its intimation of efforts for education of Afghan children, particularly girls.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Qureshi also interacted with a delegation of the members of Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress headed by Pau Mari Klose. The committee members thanked Pakistan for celebrating the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Referring to the huge potential for cooperation in trade and commerce, the foreign minister stressed the need to exchange the parliamentary delegations.
Regarding the Afghan situation, he said the world should not repeat the past mistake and rather avail the opportunity of peace by making concerted efforts as any instability there would imperil the peace of Pakistan as well as the region.
The foreign minister told the committee members that after August 15 takeover by the Taliban, Pakistan had formed a platform of six neighbours to formulate a uniform strategy.
Qureshi also highlighted the difficulties faced by Pakistani expatriates in Spain including some local laws which required them to revoke their Pakistani citizenship.
He also invited the committee members to visit Pakistan, who thanked the country for supporting the evacuation of Spanish citizens from Afghanistan.