European Union Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain said on Tuesday that the 28-nation bloc is working to defuse ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan.

“The EU is raising the issue of Kashmir with different stakeholders,” Ambassador Francois said in an interview. He said EU’s diplomatic efforts were an ongoing process and were not always visible to the people.

In response to a question, he said the EU was taking the issue of human rights violation with both India and Pakistan. He stressed that both sides had to sit on the negotiating table to resolve the issue.

The EU, he said, was among the largest providers of development aid to Pakistan. The EU Investment Bank had also agreed to provide Pakistan 50 million euros, Francois said. He added that exports from Pakistan during 2014-15 went up by 30 per cent due to the success of the EU GSP plus concession.

Regarding the EU GSP-Plus obligations, Francois said the country’s report was positive but the grouping wanted to see concrete results.

“Pakistan should explore more avenues to benefit from the EU trade by diversifying it,” he said adding that EU-Pakistan relations were ‘good and getting better’, he said.

The Express Tribune

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