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Debates
Thursday, 22 April 2004 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Vote (continuation)
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  Gill (PSE ). Mr President, I wanted to speak on the Brok report to explain why I believe this Cooperation Agreement to be vital for the promotion of cultural, economic and investment links between the EU and Pakistan. I warmly welcome the agreement because trade is a means of opening up dialogue on those areas in which there are still major concerns about democracy and human rights.

We know Pakistan suffers from acute poverty and I hope that the approval of this agreement will help the government and people of Pakistan to deal with the poverty issues within their country. Constructive engagement between the EU and Pakistan is urgently needed. That is why I voted in favour of this agreement.

I appreciate there are still many concerns over human rights and democracy in Pakistan, but these are highlighted in the resolution. This report and resolution clearly convey the importance that Parliament attaches to upholding human rights and democracy. However, Pakistan has made considerable progress in this area, and the most effective way of ensuring that this continues and is strengthened is through enhanced dialogue and cooperation rather than isolation.

 
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