PM Imran Khan holds telephonic conversation with EU Council president

Mar 7, 2022: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday telephoned European Council President Charles Michel and said that Pakistan was ready to play a facilitating role in easing tensions in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

PM Imran Khan shared Pakistan’s stance on the issue on Twitter saying, “Earlier today I spoke with EU Council President Charles Michel about the Ukraine situation. Shared concern over continued military conflict, highlighted its adverse economic impact on developing countries, stressed urgent need for ceasefire and de-escalation.”

“I emphasised the importance of humanitarian relief & reiterated the call for a solution through dialogue & diplomacy,” PM Imran said in a Twitter post.

The premier said that he and Charles Michel agreed that “countries like Pakistan could play a facilitating role in this endeavour.”

“I look forward to close engagement to promote shared objectives,” he wrote.

The development comes a day after PM Imran criticized European Union ambassadors’ statement for wanting Pakistan to condemn Russia for the Ukraine invasion.

Last week, ambassadors of 23 countries issued a press release, asking Pakistan “to join them in condemning Russia’s actions [in Ukraine] and to voice support for upholding the UN Charter and the founding principles of international law”.

Objecting to that press release, the Foreign Office had said: “We took note of that and in a subsequent meeting with a group of ambassadors, we expressed our concern about that because it was not the way diplomacy should be practised”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized that Pakistan has friendly relations with Russia and Ukraine and is in close contact with both sides. Stressing on the importance of Pakistan’s relations with the European Union, the Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to his visit to Brussels to meet the leadership of the European Union.

He also invited the President of the European Union to visit Pakistan.

An official statement issued by the PM Office said the premier received a telephone call from President of the EU Charles Michel.

“President Charles Michel conveyed condolences over the loss of precious lives in terrorist attack on a mosque in Peshawar on March 4, 2022,” it added.

Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, Munir Akram, did address the General Assembly but abstained from voting on a resolution that “deplored” the military action against Ukraine and “demands” Russia withdraw from its neighbouring country.

The ambassador did not condemn Russia’s military action against Ukraine but emphasised that “Pakistan is committed to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter: self-determination of peoples, non-use or threat of use of force, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and pacific settlement of disputes”.

He did not mention Russia in his address, where he also stressed that Pakistan upheld the “principle of equal and indivisible security for all” in a statement that appeared to refer to the concerns of Russia that led to its military offensive against Ukraine.

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