Davos, 25 May 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met with Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hjraf, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

He was accompanied by Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar and Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman.

The Foreign Minister and the Secretary General discussed Pakistan’s cooperation with GCC member states and agreed to explore new measures to improve trade and economic ties.

The Gulf Cooperation Council and Pakistan

Pakistan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) share several similarities. They are geographically close, share spiritual and cultural ties, do business together, and share security concerns.

Dr. Nayef Al Hajjraf, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, visited Pakistan twice in a short period of time.

His first visit coincided with a recent meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers in Islamabad in March to address the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The second visit, which took place last week, intended to increase the scope of Pakistan-GCC collaboration while also establishing an institutional framework.

Pakistan gets the majority of its energy from the GCC countries, whether it’s oil or gas.
Pakistan has been a member of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 and CTF 151 multinational naval units stationed in Bahrain and strives to strengthen navigational security and combat threats on the high seas.

It has also supplied technical instruction to GCC warships as part of bilateral agreements.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of Pakistan’s bilateral and multilateral cooperation with GCC member states during the meeting.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to completing the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks as soon as possible.

It was also agreed to strengthen institutional ties in accordance with the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue.

This is a long-term partnership with plenty of room for growth. Future areas of collaboration have been identified, and the institutional framework established during these visits.

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