ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday met Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and discussed with him bilateral matters, the situation in Afghanistan and human rights violations in India-held Kashmir.

On his arrival at the PM Office, For­eign Minister Qureshi was rece­ived by Romanian Chief of Protocol.

The foreign minister conveyed good wishes from Prime Minister Imran Khan and highlighted historic and cordial ties between the two countries.

He told the Romanian leader that Pakistan desired to establish broad-based and result-oriented relations with his country and the current improvement of bilateral relations manifested the vision of the leadership of the two countries.

The foreign minister lauded the anti-Covid measures taken by Romania and thanked the Romanian PM for donating 500,000 doses of anti-Covid vaccines to Pakistan by his government.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca app­reciated the role of Pakistan in the context of Afghanistan particularly for evacuation of Romanian citizens.

Discussing the regional and international matters, the foreign minister highlighted the human rights abuses by India in held Kashmir and the situation in Afghanistan.

He also appreciated Romania’s support to Pakistan in obtaining the GSP-plus status.

Later, speaking at a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu, the foreign minister said that a huge potential existed for Romanian investors in not only promoting bilateral trade ties but also from prospects of Pakistan being the hub of exports to Central Asia as new markets were now being opened up for the world.

Mr Qureshi urged Romanian investors and businessmen to avail of the huge trade and investment opportunities offered by Pakistan.

Referring to signing of an agreement between chambers of the two countries, the foreign minister said it would open new avenues for the corporate and private sectors. The private sector would be a driving force in growing bilateral trade ties between the two countries.

Earlier, Pakistan and Romania signed a Memorandum of Understan­ding (MoU) to enhance bilateral cooperation between trade bodies as well as for provision of educational scholarships to Pakistani students.

An MoU was signed between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Foreign Minister Qureshi and Romanian Minister for Economy Florin Spataru witnessed the signing ceremony.

The document was signed by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Romania Dr Zafar Iqbal.

The two countries termed the MoU vital for promotion of bilateral trade and commerce.

In another ceremony held at the Romanian foreign ministry, an MoU was signed for the provision of educational scholarships to Pakistani students by Bucharest Polytechnical University.

Ambassador Dr Zafar Iqbal signed the MoU from the Pakistani side while University Rector Mihnea Cosmin Costoiu represented Romania.