Pakistan to enhance cooperation with GCC

ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani yes­terday underscored that Pakistan viewed Gulf Co­operation Council (GCC) as an important player in the region that could play a vital role in further ex­panding political and economic ties between Pa­kistan and Gulf states. The Foreign Minister met with Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary Gen­eral of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the sidelines of 78th session of the UN General Assem­bly (UNGA), a Foreign Office statement said.

Both agreed to further strengthening coopera­tion to forge a comprehensive partnership, with renewed focus on promotion of bilateral trade and business relations. The Foreign Minister ex­pressed satisfaction on the progress made in the negotiations on Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agree­ment and reiterated the need for its early con­clusion. The Secretary General agreed to cooper­ate closely to conclude Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement at the earliest.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that Pakistan desired to strengthen institutional linkages with GCC and its member states, in line with the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue between the two sides. He underscored that Pakistan would be ready to host a GCC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Islamabad as proposed during the 1st meeting of the Political Dialogue held in March this year.

During the meeting, the regional and global is­sues of mutual interest also came under discus­sion. The Foreign Minister briefed the Secretary General on situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and atrocities com­mitted by Indian forces against innocent civilians. Pakistan and GCC have long-standing fraternal re­lations, which are firmly rooted in common faith, shared values and cultural similarities.

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