Islamabad, 20 November 2021: This year marks the seven decades of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Kingdom of Spain. Both countries established formal diplomatic ties in 1951.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan and the Spanish embassy in Pakistan jointly organized an event to commemorate this 70 years milestone. The event was held on 18th November at Pakistan Monument.
Pakistan and Spain organized a flagship reception #Celebrating7Decades of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the iconic Pakistan Monument, #Islamabad on November 18, 2021. #PakSpainAt70
🇵🇰 🤝 🇪🇸 (1/4) pic.twitter.com/H8BWGBK3l6
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) November 19, 2021
Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Spanish ambassador to Pakistan, Manuel Durán Giménez-Rico, and other official dignitaries from both sides attended the event. It was an eve of celebrating the strong bilateral politico-economic relations and enthralling cultural linkages between Pakistan and Spain.
Foreign Minister Pakistan message
Speaking at the event, Foreign Minister Qureshi said historical linkages between Spain and Pakistan predates the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. He added the robust people-to-people linkages and cultural exchanges further augment the bilateral ties between the two countries.
Moreover, Foreign Minister Qureshi remarked that Spain has always supported Pakistan bilaterally and at European Union (EU). He informed the participants that Spain is one of the largest trading partners of Pakistan.
The Foreign Minister further added the recent shift in Pakistan’s policy from geopolitics to geo-economics, improved security environment, and enhanced ranking of Pakistan in Ease of Doing Business will attract investment in the country, especially from Spain.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also recalled his visit to Spain in 2010 and the recent visit of Spanish Foreign Minister to Pakistan. He remarked that such high-level exchanges further deepen relations between the two countries. The Foreign Minister also acclaimed the special role of 125,000 Pakistani diaspora in Spain for bridging relations between the two countries.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the growing trajectory of relations between Pakistan and Spain. He said relations between the two countries are underpinned by a commonality of views on matters of regional and global significance.
Pleased to celebrate 70 years of Pakistan-Spain friendship at the iconic Pakistan Monument with an event celebrating our cultural and culinary traditions and heritage. #PakSpainAt70
🇵🇰 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/98S9S89gk9
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) November 19, 2021
Additionally, the Foreign Minister mentioned Pakistan’s national poet, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, visit to Spain in 1933. He said the poet’s love and respect for Spanish culture and its people are reflected in his literary work.
Lastly, Foreign Minister Qureshi pledged to work to further strengthen the relations between Pakistan and Spain.
Spanish Foreign Minister’s message
A video message from the Foreign Minister of Spain, Jose Manuel Albares, was also played at the event.
In his message, the Spanish Foreign Minister congratulated both sides for the 70th anniversary of Pak-Spain diplomatic relations. He said Spain was one of the first countries to recognize Pakistan after its establishment in 1947
Foreign Minister Manuel Albares recalled his visit to Pakistan in September and remarked that he received a warm welcome.
The Foreign Minister further added diplomatic ties between the two countries have enhanced since 1951. He also stated the two countries support each other at multilateral forums.
Furthermore, the Spanish Foreign Minister extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Qureshi for visiting Spain.
— Foreign Minister's Public Diplomacy 🇵🇰 (@FMPublicDiploPK) November 19, 2021
Spanish Ambassador’s message
Speaking at the event, the Spanish ambassador to Pakistan, Manuel Durán Giménez-Rico, felicitated the people of both countries for 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. He said Spain aims to further strengthen the political, economic, trade, and cultural ties with Pakistan.
Celebrating Pak-Spain rich cultural ties
The event also showcased the rich cultures of Pakistan and Spain. National anthems of Pakistan and Spain were sung at the start of the event.
There was also a photographic exhibition that depicted landscapes and rich flora and fauna from Pakistan and Spain.
Furthermore, there was a flamboyant display of various cultural and musical performances by artists from both sides.
Sharing some more moments from yesterday's Spanish performance! #flamenco traces its origin to the subcontinent – check the similarity with #kathak dance. Flamenco is now listed by @UNESCO as Intangible Cultural #WorldHeritage pic.twitter.com/nOvgrUv3ZC
— Spain in Pakistan (@SpaininPakistan) November 19, 2021
— Spain in Pakistan (@SpaininPakistan) November 18, 2021
Earlier, the Pakistan embassy in Spain commemorated the 70th anniversary of Pak-Spain relations by organizing a musical performance ‘Soniche’ in August 2021. It is a fusion of jazz, flamenco, and Pakistani music. During the event, Pakistani and Spanish artists gave a mesmerizing performance.
Follow @PakinSpain_ for more from the event.
— Foreign Minister's Public Diplomacy 🇵🇰 (@FMPublicDiploPK) August 27, 2021
Pakistan-Spain diplomatic relations
Pakistan and Spain share cordial diplomatic relations based on mutual trust and solidarity. Pakistan has an embassy in Madrid and a consulate general in Barcelona. Likewise, Spain maintains an embassy in Islamabad and a consulate general in Karachi and Lahore.
Both countries cooperate in diverse sectors including political, economic, commercial, trade climate change, culture, and tourism.
Spain is Pakistan’s third-largest trading partner in the EU. The annual bilateral trade between the two countries is more than $1.3 billion. Pakistan also participated in trade fairs and exhibitions in Spain. Recently, a delegation from Pakistan participated in Mobile World Congress (MWC) fair in Barcelona.
Furthermore, in September, the Spanish Foreign Minister visited Pakistan. This is the first high-level visit from Spain to Pakistan in the last seven decades. This highlights the strengthening trajectory of relations between the two countries. During his visit, both sides also agreed to cooperate in the defense sector.