Italian Vice Foreign Minister Mr. Benedetto Della Vedora said that Pakistan Italian relations are strong in all spheres but more needs to be done to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations. He highlighted the strong solidarity between Pakistan and Italy in the international forums including United Nations on the question of reforms.
Mr. Vedora made these remarks while briefing the researchers at Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He was accompanied by Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Adriano Chiodi, Ambassador Andrea Perugini, First Councilor Mr. Lorenzo Galante and Mr. Tomaso Sansone.
Ambassador Khalid Mehmood, Chairman Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad welcomed the delegation, other members from the Pakistan side were, Ambassador Masood Khan, Director General Institute of Strategic Studies (chair), Mr. Mazhar Javed, DG (Europe) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense Analyst Talat Masood. Other opinion leaders present at the occasion were, Amb Ali Sarwar Naqvi from the Center for International Strategic Studies, Mr. Imtiaz Gul, Chairman Center for Research and Security Studies, Mr. Rana Athar Javed, DG Pakistan House, Ms. Amna Rafiq, an expert from Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services and Ambassador (R) Fauzia Nasreen.
In the question and answer session that ensued, vice Minister Vedora agreed with the researchers at Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and other opinion leaders the need to promote trade between the two countries, enhance education and scientific exchange, collaborate in research projects and plan joint ventures.
The Italian vice Minister raised concerns of the Italian government and people about the rights of minorities in Pakistan, at the same time he lauded the Key role of Pakistan in supporting the government of Afghanistan in its quest for peace, stability and reconciliation.
Ambassador Masood Khan, Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in his remarks underlined the close collaboration between the two countries, as members of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC). He said that the two countries would continue to pursue reform in the United Nations which would make the Security Council more representative and accountable. They would oppose addition of new permanent seats because this would create new centers of privilege.
He also added that as Pakistan was pursuing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Italy was also working on its vision of Greater Mediterranean Region, the two countries needed to cooperate on making sea lanes of communication (SLOC) more secure for trade in the Arabian Sea across to the Mediterranean region. He said that Pakistan was taking all steps to promote and protect the rights of minorities and would continue to play its supportive and facilitative role in Afghanistan.