ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Senior diplomats from 22 countries, including European Union member states, on Tuesday jointly called on the Pakistani government to support a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s aggression against the ‘Ukraine.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was in Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin last week on the day Russian forces entered Ukraine. Pakistan said it was concerned about the fallout from the invasion, but refrained from condemning it.
“As Heads of Mission in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we urge Pakistan to join us in condemning Russia’s actions,” said a joint statement signed by envoys from 22 countries.
Signatories included EU Member States, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Poland , Romania, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and Great Britain.
The 193 members of the UNGA will vote this week on a resolution condemning Moscow’s actions, similar to the one Russia vetoed in the Security Council on Friday. The resolution needs two-thirds support to pass.
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Prior to his visit to Russia, Khan said the Ukraine crisis had nothing to do with Pakistan, which did not want to join any bloc.
While Pakistan has started to expand its ties with Russia on energy projects, the EU is its main export market along with the United States.
The EU has granted Pakistan a special trade status, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+), which lowers entry tariffs.
There was no comment from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, but the country’s Minister of Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, responded on Twitter, calling the joint statement “tongue-in-cheek”.
She said Pakistan did not support military force, but the EU could not accede to the UN Charter “selectively” as it had been done “for decades”. She called on the EU to condemn alleged violations by India and Israel.
(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Alex Richardson)
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