Engage Africa Policy to intensify exchanges, trade with Africa: FM

Staff Report 

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday while underlining the government’s emphasis on geo-economics, said that Pakistan’s ‘Engage Africa’ policy was aimed at enhancing diplomatic footprint and intensifying exchanges and trade with Africa.
The foreign minister, in a meeting with the Chief of Staff of Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Asinda Fall of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), conveyed greetings from President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to President of DRC Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo.
General Fall is on an unprecedented six-day visit to Pakistan at the invitation of his counterpart.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the traditionally cooperative and cordial ties. Coordination of positions and mutual support for each other’s candidatures at multilateral fora was also flagged.
The foreign minister expressed pride in Pakistan’s steadfast and unmatched support and contribution to peacekeeping, peace-building and peacemaking effort in DRC with 53,000 uniformed personnel under UN auspices from 2003.
He praised the Congolese President’s contribution to promoting democracy and ably steering African Union as its Chairperson.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also conveyed an invitation to his counterpart Cristophe Lutundula Apala to visit to Pakistan.
He offered further training opportunities for DRC diplomats at Foreign Service Academy (FSA) Islamabad.
He also urged the Congolese side to avail of Pakistan’s Technical Assistance Program facility for DRC youth in medicine, pharmacy and engineering.
General Felix’s visit has set a positive tone for further strengthening and deepening of bilateral ties.