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UNGA President in Pakistan for two-day visit

ISLAMABAD – President-elect of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir arrived here yesterday on a two-day visit to hold talks with the Pakistani leaders.

Foreign Office said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will have wide-ranging talks with President-elect Volkan Bozkir on issues relating to the three main pillars of the United Nations  work, including peace and security, development, and human rights.

The UNGA President-elect will also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan will brief the UNGA President-elect in the worsening situation in held Kashmir.

Bozkir, the first Turkish national to head the UNGA, will take the office in September and hold the post for one year.

He is currently a ruling Justice and Development Party lawmaker from Istanbul and head of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Last month, Bozkir had postponed his visit to Pakistan “due to some technical flight problems”.

In a tweet, the UNGA president had said: “We had to postpone my visit to Pakistan, originally scheduled for 26-27 July, upon invitation by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, due to some technical flight problems.”

Qureshi said he would apprise Ambassador Bozkir about the atrocities committed by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir. He said the world was facing a myriad of challenges including the coronavirus pandemic, protracted and unresolved conflicts, global warming, and xenophobia and Islamophobia.

Qureshi said that the UN’s spirit of cooperation and multilateralism was eroding due to “endemic trust deficit on … response to global challenges.”

“The UN organs, like the Security Council, need reform to make them more representative, democratic, effective, legitimate and accountable to the general membership,” he said.

He said the UNGA was also “in dire need of impetus to revive its efficacy and prestige.”

Qureshi has reiterated Pakistan’s “complete support and cooperation” and expressed faith in the Turkish diplomat’s abilities: “While the task is momentous, we truly believe that you are well suited to guide us with your wisdom and vision through these challenges.”

He had reminded Bozkir of Turkey and Pakistan’s “historic brotherhood that is without any parallel in inter-state relations,” saying the two have supported each other “in the face of all challenges and have unanimity of views on all major issues of regional and international importance.”

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