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The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio, visited Islamabad today in order to hold political consultations with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.

He also held a meeting with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Ambassador Tariq Fatemi, and with the Commerce Minister, Khurram Dastgir Khan.

During the political consultations, both parties, reviewed the bilateral relations and the possibilities of strengthening them in the political, economic, consular and cultural spheres.

They also addressed possible areas of cooperation in the United Nations and global affairs that are a priority for both countries, such as the fight against terrorism, with the Pakistani authorities explaining their recent advances in this field.

During the conversations, they also addressed the most pressing issues regarding human rights in Pakistan. The secretary of state moved Spain’s position in favor of the returning to the moratorium in applying the death penalty, recently raised in Pakistan within the framework of the fight against terrorism.

He also mentioned the interest with which Spain observes the protection of religious minorities in the region, thanking the Pakistani government for their efforts to maintain the tradition of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among creeds within the country.

Likewise, in the context of this defense, the secretary of state mentioned the government’s interest in the evolution of the case of Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy.

In the economic sphere, the Pakistani authorities reported on several opportunities to stimulate relations between both countries, in the context of its policy to prioritise economic diplomacy. The different speakers confirmed this, and spoke on high protection areas, infrastructure, agriculture and the energy sector.

In the sphere of trade relations, Pakistan has made a positive assessment of the progress of the application of the Generalized System of Preferences issued by the European Union, and of the favorable impact that it has had for maintaining economic opportunities for Pakistani youth and preventing the spread of radicalism among excluded people.

Finally, several issues on the international agenda were discussed, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the Middle East Peace Process, the progress of E3/EU+3 negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme and other regional and international issues.

The next consultations will take place in Madrid.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46894/

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