National Day of Portugal: Relations with Pakistan based on trust: envoy

National Day of Portugal: Relations with Pakistan based on trust: envoy

Ambassador of Portugal Fredrico Silva says Portugal supported the recent election of Pakistan to a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council

Ansar M Bhatti/DNA

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Portugal Fredrico Silva has said Portugal supported the recent election of Pakistan to a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the period 2025/26.

‘I also would like to remind that Portugal is candidate to the equivalent position for the biennium 2026/27. We consistently support the indispensable role of the United Nations, including its Secretary-General, the Portuguese António Guterres’.

The ambassador expressed these views on the occasion of the National Day of Portugal, celebrated at the Islamabad Serena Hotel. Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for Housing, Minister Maritime Affairs Qaisar Ahmed Shiekh, Director General ISPR Lt. General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry also attended the event.

The ambassador said, the bilateral relations between Portugal and Pakistan are long and well established, friendly and based on trust and cooperation.

‘Since my arrival to Pakistan, February last year, I have been able to travel extensively inside this big and fascinating country, visiting, among other places, Lahore and Karachi, Faisalabad and Peshawar, Nowshera and Abbotabad, Murrey and Taxila, Chilas and Gilgit-Baltistan’.

In 1949, Portugal established an Embassy in Karachi, what was followed in 1954 by the opening of the Embassy of Pakistan in Lisbon.

Political bilateral consulations were held last year in Lisbon. A new round is expected to take place in Islamabad in the medium term.

As of today, the main areas of bilateral interaction, both at official and civil society levels,  include Renewable Energy and Water Management, Education and Culture, Tourism and Agriculture, Blue Economy and Green Techonologies, Trade and Investments.

On Ukraine, he said, it has to be clearly reminded that sovereignty and territorial integrity are the cornerstone of international order. Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine creates a very dangerous precedent for the rest of the world; it must be stopped.

Talking about Palestine issue, the ambassador said, Portugal strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli offensive in Raffah and is gravely concerned with the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

‘We also maintain our longstanding position of respect for the jurisdiction, independence and impartiality of the International Criminal Court’.

He said, Portugal considered the recognition of the Palestinian State as an important step, with the underlying concern of choosing the best timing and context, to maximize its effect and send a positive political message to both parties.

Giving a historical background, he said, Portugal is one of the oldest nation states on Earth. Today we celebrate 885 years of existence, since 1139. We have indeed a long history as the western most country in Europe, facing the Atlantic Ocean on our maritime mainland coast and around the Archipelagos of Madeira and Azores.

The Portuguese were the first to sail south down the Atlantic Ocean, the first Europeans to pass the Equator, to circumnavigate the African continent and to sail into Asia.

In 1498 with Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese were the first to reach the Indian subcontinent by sea from Europe, and to reach Ceylon and Sumatra, Java and Thailand, Malaca and Timor, and so on.

They were also the first Europeans to reach and trade with both Japan and China by sea, and the first ones to view Australia. In the Americas the Portuguese reached Brazil, he added.

‘In 1974, with the Carnation Revolution, Portugal began an era of democracy, decolonization and development and this opened the path for a reinvigorated Portugal, that became a EU state member in 1985. Today, Portugal is consistently considered one of the most safe and secure countries in the world, benefitting from good levels of economic and social development, he added.

Touching upon the Day of  LUIS DE CAMOES the Ambassador said,  ‘We also celebrate on 10th June,  Luis Vaz de Camões, poet and writer, author of  “The Lusiads”, the major Portuguese national epic. 10th June was the day, in 1580, Camões, Luis Vaz de Camoes, died. And that is why, in an original manner, 10th of June is the National Day of Portugal.