Pakistan-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Groups to work for strengthening relations

BYYasir Rehman


407

Pakistan-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Groups Thursday agreed to work closely to identify areas of cooperation to further strengthen relations between the two friendly countries.

The agreement was reached during the meeting of the Pakistan-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Groups held virtually on 23 September 2021. It was first meeting of Friendship Groups after re-establishment of Australia-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group for the new Australian Parliament a year ago.

MNA Maryam Aurangzaib and Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed

Convener of the Pakistan-Australia Friendship Group in the National Assembly of Pakistan Maryam Aurangzaib and Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed led the Pakistan side, while the Australian side was led by the Chair of the Australia-Pakistan Friendship Group in the Australian Parliament Rowan Ramsey and Vice Chair Andrew Giles. Pakistan’s High Commissioner-designate to Australia Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri and the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr. Geoffrey Shaw also participated in the meeting.

Appreciating the excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and Australia, Ms. Maryam Aurangzaib emphasized the need to further enhance cooperation in diverse fields, including parliamentary affairs, trade and investment, education, agriculture and sports.

Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed raised the issue of Pakistani students who are unable to travel to Australia due to the Covid-19 restrictions and hoped the Australian side would assist Pakistani students once the international borders were reopened. He also briefed the Parliamentarians on the human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Chair of the Australia-Pakistan Friendship Group in the Australian Parliament Rowan Ramsey

Mr. Rowan Ramsey underscored the importance of Parliamentary Friendship Groups in promotion of bilateral relations. He appreciated the Pakistani Diaspora in Australia and their contribution to the development of the two countries. He also thanked for Pakistan’s government assistance in evacuation of Australian officials and citizens from Afghanistan.

Vice Chair of the Australia-Pakistan Friendship Group in the Australian Parliament Andrew Giles

Mr. Andrew Giles underscored the need to match the strong friendship between the two countries with greater bilateral trade and economic cooperation. He appreciated the strong leadership of Pakistani Diaspora during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr. Geoffrey Shaw

The Pakistan-Australia Friendship Group in the Australian Parliament has members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In Pakistan, the Senate and the National Assembly have separate Pakistan-Australia Friendship Groups. These Friendship Groups play an important role in enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

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