Pakistan’s diplomatic engagements during the year 2023

Foreign OfficePakistan’s diplomatic engagements during the year 2023

Islamabad, Pakistan: The Foreign Office of Pakistan released a statement about Pakistan’s diplomatic engagements during the year 2023.

Visits abroad:

   

During the first half of 2023, former Prime Minister Mian Shebaz Sharif undertook official visits to Azerbaijan, Turkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Former Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited Iraq, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Former Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar undertook official visits to Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Uzbekistan, and the United Kingdom.

In the later half of 2023, Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar undertook bilateral visits to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. He attended important multilateral conferences in China, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani has visited China, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom to attend multilateral conferences and Meetings. In London, he chaired the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting.

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Pakistan hosted international delegations:

Pakistan hosted high-level delegations from Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

Bilateral political consultations:

Bilateral political consultations were held with Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Denmark Finland France, Georgia, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkiye.

Pakistan hosted the International Conference:

Pakistan hosted the International Conference on Climate-resilient Pakistan in Geneva in collaboration with the United Nations to gain support for Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2022.

In September, the Foreign Minister chaired the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in London. And in October, Pakistan assumed the chairmanship of SCO Heads of Government Meeting.

Diplomatic partnerships:

Pakistan reinforced traditional partnerships with China, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, and the wider Islamic world. These relationships are based on mutual trust and friendship and are characterized by a tradition of robust dialogue and exchange of bilateral visits.

Pakistan and China reaffirmed their commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which completed in ten years in 2023. Bilateral engagement and cooperation remained robust. The two countries held bilateral consultation mechanisms on consular, maritime affairs, counter-terrorism, arms control, and nuclear proliferation.

Relations with Türkiye continued to advance with high-level exchanges and cooperation. A significant outcome this year was the culmination of the MILGEM Class Corvette project initiated in 2018. Under this project, four corvettes were built jointly for the Pakistan Navy symbolizing a close partnership between Pakistan and Türkiye in defence production. In May, the Pakistan- Türkiye ‘Trade in Goods Agreement’ came into effect presenting an opportunity of great potential in the economic domain.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia continued to maintain high-level dialogue and strategic engagement. In 2023, several important understandings and agreements were reached to bolster bilateral trade and investment, especially in the energy and IT sectors. The two sides signed the Agreement on the Road to Makkah Project to facilitate the Hujjaj from Pakistan with the shifting of immigration and customs clearance process during the hajj season from Saudi Arabia to Islamabad.

 SIFC and Foreign Office:

With the establishment of SIFC, economic cooperation and engagement with GCC countries gained momentum, especially in the domain of energy and information technology. Pakistan-GCC agreed to conclude a free trade agreement which will be the first such Free Trade Agreement (FTA) concluded by the GCC with any country.

Relations with USA and Russia:

Relations with the United States continued to advance bilateral dialogue and cooperation. In addition to the exchange of high-level visits and meetings, the two countries held the 9th TIFA Ministerial Council and dialogues on Climate Change and Environment; Health, Energy security; Counter-Terrorism, and Defence.

Pakistan-Russia relations maintained a positive trajectory as the two countries exchanged several high-level visits. Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, and Bilateral Political Consultations were also held during the year.

Regional Relations:

Pakistan has consistently expressed its desire to see a peaceful, prosperous, stable, and connected Afghanistan. So Afghanistan emerges as a trade and energy-connectivity conduit to our region.

As a firm adherent of regional approaches to the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan participated in meetings and mechanisms aimed at promoting peace in Afghanistan. It also remained committed to dialogue and engagement with Afghanistan as the two countries continue to explore avenues of cooperation, especially in the economic domain.

This was a significant year in Pakistan-Iran relations. In May 2023, the two sides inaugurated the ‘Mand-Pishin Border Sustenance Marketplace’ and ‘220 kV Polan-Gabd Electricity Transmission Line’ projects. The two sides agreed to institutionalize Bilateral Economic Consultations and signed the five-year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan (2023-28) in June that envisages achieving a bilateral trade target of US $ 5 billion.

In pursuance of our vision of regional connectivity and mutual prosperity, Pakistan also continued its robust engagement with countries in Central Asia. Within the context of ECO, Pakistan promoted regional cooperation in trade, transport, connectivity, energy, tourism and economic growth and productivity.

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