Diplomats from 22 countries urge Pakistan to condemn Russia | Russo-Ukrainian War

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The UN General Assembly, made up of 193 members, will vote this week on a resolution condemning Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

Senior diplomats from 22 countries, including European Union member states, have jointly called on the Pakistani government to support a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution condemning Russia’s aggression against 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting in Moscow February 24, the day Russian forces entered Ukraine [Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters]

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.

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.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry said Islamabad had engaged with members of the international community to “exchange views” on the situation.

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“We have always advocated dialogue and continued engagement to defuse and work for a diplomatic solution,” he said.

The country‘s human rights minister, Shireen Mazari, reacted on Twitter, calling the joint statement “ironic”.

She said Pakistan did not support military force, but the EU should not accede to the UN Charter “selectively” as has been done “for decades”.

She called on the EU to condemn the alleged violations by India and Israel.

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