BRUSSELS - The European Union on Monday offered to send observers to Pakistan's historic elections in May in a bid to ensure a ‘peaceful, credible’ vote that will be ‘acceptable’ to all.
The vote for the first time would enable the transition of power from one elected government to another, marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term in the country.
"The EU looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people," EU foreign ministers said in a statement released after talks.
The 27-nation bloc "is ready to assist by deploying an election observation mission, as a tangible sign of our support for the democratic process," the statement added. The ministers also said they looked forward to re-energising ties with the next government and hoped quick contacts could lead to a third EU-Pakistan summit.
They recalled that the EU had given Pakistan better market access to help it overcome economic problems linked to natural disasters, and welcomed Pakistan's "constructive role in promoting a secure Afghanistan and supporting an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process."
APP adds: According to a message received here from Brussels, the EU in a resolution said the centre of its commitment to Pakistan is the strengthening of democracy. The EU looks forward to upcoming elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to the Pakistani people.
The elections enable the transition of power from one elected government to the next under the stewardship of an independent Election Commission.
The EU supports Pakistan in upholding the rule of law and human rights. The EU confirms that the 5-Year Engagement Plan should remain basis for assistance to Pakistan.
Pakistan plays an important role in fostering stability in South Asia, including through the "Heart of Asia initiative".
The EU encourages renewed understanding and continuing progress in India-Pakistan relations and supports the further development of regional trade links, which would strongly benefit the whole region.
The EU welcomes and encourages Pakistan's constructive role in promoting a secure Afghanistan and supporting an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.