Remarks by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the Joint Press Stakeout with Foreign Minister of Ukaraine.

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Islamabad, In a statement foreign minister Billawal Bhutto Zardari said, it is my honour to welcome Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine H.E. Dmytro Kuleba, on his first visit to Pakistan.

We have just concluded comprehensive discussions covering the entire range of bilateral relations and regional and multilateral issues of importance.

Pakistan enjoys longstanding friendly ties with Ukraine. Pakistan-Ukraine relationship has a long history and has covered trade and investment, agricultural and defence cooperation, cultural exchanges and deep people-to-people contacts. We wish to further expand cooperation to all areas of mutual benefit. Building trade and economic ties is a priority area for Pakistan. We aspire to build a mutually beneficial relationship that contributes to the prosperity and well-being of our nations.

In our meeting today, we agreed on the importance of regular dialogue and engagement to further strengthen our bilateral ties. We have also agreed to hold meetings of various institutional mechanisms in due course. We will continue to build on our conversation to add more substance to our relations.

We discussed the situation in Ukraine. I shared with the Foreign Minister our deep concern at the prevailing situation and offered our condolences on the loss of precious lives and immense human suffering. In a gesture of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and despite our own economic challenges, we have sent humanitarian assistance.

We believe that prolonged conflict brings immense hardship and suffering to the civilian populations. We hope, therefore, that peace will prevail so that the people of Ukraine and Russia can enjoy peace dividends. In our meeting, I emphasized the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes and conflicts through dialogue and engagement and Pakistan’s readiness to support peace initiatives which can bring peace to the region.

As a country in a volatile region, we understand how longstanding regional conflicts can endanger our collective security. The Ukraine conflict has also brought difficulties for developing countries and the Global South, particularly in terms of fuel, food and fertilizers shortages. Pakistan is no exception. We, therefore, have a vested interest in promoting peace and reconciliation. We hope for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

Finally, I would particularly like to appreciate the Ukrainian government for its principled stance in supporting the resolution on countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 12th July.

As we look to the future, I am confident in our joint efforts to strengthen our bilateral relationship. We resolve to move forward in fostering cooperation and friendship between the peoples of Pakistan and Ukraine.