Addressing a joint press conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg praised Pakistan’s “effective steps” for eradicating terrorism and restoring peace in Afghanistan and thanked Islamabad for ensuring smooth repatriation of stranded foreign nationals from the war-torn country.
He said that Pakistan had made an immense contribution towards ensuring peace and stability in the region.
The Austrian Foreign Minister arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday on a four-day visit. He held a meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi, wherein the two sides discussed the whole range of bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues.
Schallenberg stated that Austria was eager to explore the South Asian economic markets and that his visit will usher in a new era in Austria-Pakistan relations. Several important issues, including trade, climate change, and green energy, were discussed during his meeting with Qureshi, he said.
With the conflict in Ukraine, Schallenberg said that the situation may devolve into a crisis. He also stated that Pakistan was hosting the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, which was a significant step forward.
On the occasion, Qureshi said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Austria and considered it an important country of the European Union. He mentioned the excellent investment opportunities available for Austrian companies in Pakistan. He also expressed Pakistan’s perspective on Afghanistan stressing that the most pressing issues in Afghanistan were humanitarian and economic crises, which needed to be addressed urgently. While talking about the Ukraine crisis, the Foreign Minister hoped that talks between Russia and Ukraine could yield a positive outcome.
The two sides also talked about the significant human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan also met the Austrian Foreign Minister. The PM emphasized that Pakistan highly valued its long-standing and cordial relations with Austria. During the meeting, the focus was on bilateral relations, regional situations and international issues.
The Austrian Foreign Minister thanked the Prime Minister for receiving him and also conveyed greetings of the Federal Chancellor of Austria.