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Pakistan seeks EU engagement to normalize ties with India


Brussels, Nov 7, IRNA -- Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud 
Kasuri said Thursday that he had raised the possibility of an EU 
engagement to improve Islamabad-New Delhi ties during his meetings 
with EU officials in Brussels. 
"I have raised this issue with Patten and Solana and everybody 
else I met including Belgian ministers," Kasuri said in Brussels this 
"We are prepared for bilateral, trilateral, multilateral. India 
can chose the field. I think we need engagement. We can talk about 
anything, the weather and cricket, and at some time about Kashmir," 
said the Pakistani minister after delivering a speech at a 
Brussels-based think-tank. 
Kasuri met European Commissioner for External Relations Chris 
Patten and EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana on Wednesday and 
with Belgian officials Thursday and discussed EU-Pakistan ties, 
Indo-Pak relations, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. 
He said both Patten and Solana were expected to visit Pakistan 
within the next 2 to 3 months. 
"EU is a worthy model of regional stability. The EU success model 
could be a beacon of hope for our region," Kasuri said. 
Speaking on "the fight against terrorism, regional security," he 
disclosed that Pakistan has arrested over 500 al Qaeda members in the 
last two years and destroyed dozens of terrorist cells . 
"Muslim countries should assume the responsibility for internal 
reform, eschew extremism and confrontation and ensure economic and 
social development," he said. 
The European Policy Centre and the European Institute for Asian 
Studies had organized the event. 
He said there is "no clash of civilizations" and pointed out that 
Islam had contributed to the progress of Europe. 
Kasuri said the suppression and oppression of the Palestinian 
people by the Zionist regime was leading to frustration and to 
The Pakistani minister said he also told his European 
interlocutors that an Indian-Israeli military cooperation "would 
destabilize the region and the Middle East itself." 
Kasuri was later Thursday to meet members of the European 
Parliament in an effort to reactivate the so-called "third generation 
cooperation agreement" between the EU and Pakistan. 
The EP has blocked the ratification of the two-year old agreement 
after a EU election observer mission to Pakistan last year declared 
that serious flaws had affected the electoral process. 

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