In Islamabad, Graziano discussed with the military and political leaderships about subjects of common interest in the field of security and defence, as well as opportunities for potential, future military interactions between the EU and Pakistan.
Gen. Hayat, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa (Army Chief), Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi (Navy Chief) and AM Asim Zaheer (Air Force Vice Chief) confirmed the will to build up on the current relationship with the EU, at different military levels.
“We considered the possibility of more engagement between our staffs, the participation of Pakistan personnel to some courses offered by the European Security and Defence College, and a prospective for support by Islamabad to the Common and Security Defence Policy (CSDP) Operation Atalanta.” said Graziano.
On their side, Pakistan military authorities encouraged EU to profit from the training on counter terrorism, offered in Islamabad.
Gen. Graziano was honoured to meet with Dr. Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and later with Mr. Waleed Iqbal, Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee. In a constantly changing world and security scenario, said Pakistan authorities, Islamabad looks at EU as a potential facilitator for reconciliation processes in the region, and EU engagement for a peaceful Afghanistan is very welcomed.
During the debates, all parties agreed that the bilateral Strategic Engagement Plan, recently signed by EU and Pakistan, represents a solid framework for sustained and closer collaboration, and which needs now to be followed by practical implementation.
During his staying in Islamabad, Chairman of the EUMC delivered lectures on the role of the EU in the global security arena at NDU-ISSRA (National Defence University - Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis)
and the ISSI (Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute)
among the country’s most esteemed think tanks. Both meetings showed strong interest by the qualified, high-level attendances on the progresses and the potentiality of the Global Strategy, as proposed by the European Union.
In the different engagements in Islamabad, Gen. Graziano was accompanied by the newly appointed EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Mrs Androulla Kaminara, who also organized meetings involving ambassadors and defence attachés of European Union
Member States and notable local authorities. During one of the gatherings, Gen. Graziano had the opportunity to discuss in depth the relationship between EU and Pakistan, looking forward to the progresses of cooperation with the country, in several areas of importance or concern.
Current relationship between EU and Pakistan builds on the mentioned Strategic Engagement Plan, in which both sides reaffirm their determination to further strengthen the long-term, forward-looking and broad based partnership.
Prominent strands in the dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Pakistan will remain peace, development and prosperity, democracy, the rule of law, good governance and human rights, migration and mobility, and trade and investment.
Additionally, the Strategic Engagement Plan will allow for cooperation in new areas, such as energy and climate change, education, culture, science and technology, among others, all on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter, international norms and law, principles of mutual respect and trust, as well as common interest.