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Brussels, 13 October 2010

High Representative Ashton co-hosts Ministerial meeting of the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan”

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton will together with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi jointly host the Third Ministerial meeting of the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” in Brussels on 15 October. The group of “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” was established in the margins of the 2008 UN General Assembly as a forum for policy dialogue on Pakistan’s security and economic challenges and to mobilize international support. It consists of 26 countries and institutions. The EU is a founder member of the “Friends”.

High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton said: "The meeting will be an opportunity for Pakistan‘s friends to demonstrate solidarity during one of the most difficult periods in the country’s history. The work of the group of “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” is now more important than ever. We look forward to learn more about Pakistan’s strategy for a longer-term comprehensive approach to recovery and how it will tackle key structural impediments. Safe, secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan is in the interest of the EU and international community."

The Ministerial meeting will mainly focus on the aftermath of the floods which hit Pakistan this summer. It is not a pledging conference, but will discuss the floods from a broader perspective. Pakistan will brief on its longer term comprehensive approach to recovery and commitments for policy reforms. Ministers are also expected to provide formal approval to the “Integrated Energy Sector Recovery Report and Plan” and express their support to the recommendations contained in the Post Crisis Needs Assessment report for the Malakand region and establish a Task Force on Water Management.

The Ministerial will be preceded by a Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) on 14 October. The SOM will feature an in depth briefing by Government of Pakistan, World Bank and Asian Development Bank on initial findings of the Damage and Needs Assessment which is currently under preparation and which is expected to be completed by the end of this month. This will allow for a longer term reconstruction programme to be formulated and serve as a major input for a Pakistan Development Forum scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad.

For more information:

Memo on the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan" Ministerial meeting

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