ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The 5th Session of Pakistan-Germany Strategic Dialogue was held via Video Conference on Thursday.
The Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and the State Secretary Miguel Berger of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany led their respective sides.
Sohail Mahmood expressed condolences on the loss of lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic and briefed his German Counterpart on the steps taken by the government to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
The foreign secretary highlighted the government’s measures including the ‘smart lockdown’ strategy, with emphasis on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy.
The foreign secretary appreciated the close contacts between the leadership of the two countries and reiterated that international solidarity and a coordinated approach were the best way to counter the myriad challenges posed by the pandemic.
The two sides took stock of the whole range of bilateral relations, including political, economic, trade, investment, education, and cultural fields. The desire for continuity of regular high-level exchange for strengthening bilateral cooperation was emphasized.
The foreign secretary briefed on the economic development and investment opportunities in Pakistan including the improved business climate and ease of doing business.
Sohail Mahmood invited German Companies to invest in different sectors including in agriculture, information technologies, tourism and renewable energy.
The foreign secretary emphasized that the regional security situation had become perilous following India’s illegal and unilateral actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on August 9, 2019.
The foreign secretary highlighted the continuing military siege and communication blackout, gross and systematic violations of human rights, India’s steps to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of 4th Geneva Convention, and India’s intensified ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC) and targeted killing of innocent civilians.
Sohail Mahmood underlined the importance of the international community playing its part in peaceful resolution of Jammu & Kashmir dispute in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
The foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s consistent support and positive contribution to the Afghan peace process. He underscored the need for early commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to ensure durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
The two sides also exchanged views on cooperation at the international fora, including the UN and the European Union, and agreed to continue close contact and mutual support on all issues of convergent interest.