Joint Press Release between the European Union and Pakistan on Regional Peace and Security
On the occasion of the 4th Session of the Pakistan-European Union Strategic Dialogue, held in Islamabad on 25 March 2019, between Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the two sides discussed regional foreign policy issues of mutual interest, notably the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and the EU reiterated their joint commitment to genuine regional peace and stability. Both parties recognised the need to seize the current and unique momentum for bringing about lasting peace in Afghanistan, which was essential for social development and economic prosperity across the region. In this respect, Pakistan welcomed the 5-point offer of assistance made by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini at the November 2018 Ministerial Conference in Geneva.
The EU expressed support for Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate a politically negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, in particular in the framework of the Afghan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). The EU appreciated Pakistan’s longstanding support in hosting millions of Afghan refugees during the last 40 years as well as its continued support for the infrastructure and human resource development in Afghanistan.
Recognising the mutually reinforcing dimensions of peace, stability and development, Pakistan and the EU, therefore, agreed:
- To join efforts to resolutely support the Afghan peace process going forward, stressing that this process should be truly Afghan-led and owned;
- To facilitate an inclusive dialogue among the Afghans, notably between the Government and the Taliban, which should begin as soon as possible;
- To continue efforts to fighting international terrorism in all its forms and taking decisive and concrete action by all sides and at all levels;
- To help and facilitate taking the Afghan peace process forward, notably through constructive initiatives at regional level and with international partners;
- To uphold progress made over the past 18 years in Afghanistan, which should be irreversible, in particular on the fundamental rights of women as well as their inclusion in the broader peace agenda, children, minorities and vulnerable groups;
- To enable and foster connectivity between Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in the region in order to bring important dividends to the wider region, not least by increasing regional trade;
- To make joint efforts in mobilising additional and sustained international assistance for enabling voluntary and dignified return of Afghan refugees.
The EU and Pakistan welcomed all international efforts aimed at genuinely ending the conflict and bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.