UNITED NATIONS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a meeting with the President of European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and briefed him on the positive strides Pakistan has made towards democracy by holding free, fair and transparent elections with a record turnout despite the security challenges. The prime minister stated that his government’s priorities include reviving the economy, overcoming the energy shortages, eradicating extremism and promoting human rights. Noting that the EU is Pakistan’s single largest trading partner, PM Sharif stated that inclusion in the GSP plus scheme in 2014 would further deepen Pakistan’s trade and investment linkages with the European Union.
The President of the European Council said that the EU attached high importance to its relations with Pakistan. He commended deepening of the democratic process in Pakistan and expressed appreciation for the positive agenda of the present government in Pakistan.
He expressed satisfaction at the elevation of EU’s relations with Pakistan to a strategic level and said that he looked forward to the second round of Pakistan-EU strategic dialogue to be held in Brussels on 15 October 2013.