GCC can further enhance ties between Pakistan, Gulf states: FM

Islamabad: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Saturday underscored that Pakistan viewed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as an important player in the region that could play a vital role in further expanding political and economic ties between Pakistan and Gulf states.

The Foreign Minister met with Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the sidelines of 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press release.

Both agreed to further strengthening cooperation to forge a comprehensive partnership, with renewed focus on promotion of bilateral trade and business relations.

The Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction on the progress made in the negotiations on Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement and reiterated the need for its early conclusion.

The Secretary General agreed to cooperate closely to conclude Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement at the earliest.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that Pakistan desired to strengthen institutional linkages with GCC and its member states, in line with the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue between the two sides.

He underscored that Pakistan would be ready to host a GCC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Islamabad as proposed during the 1st meeting of the Political Dialogue held in March this year.

During the meeting, the regional and global issues of mutual interest also came under discussion.

The Foreign Minister briefed the Secretary General on situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and atrocities committed by Indian forces against innocent civilians.

Pakistan and GCC have long-standing fraternal relations, which are firmly rooted in common faith, shared values and cultural similarities.