British Foreign Secretary calls President Zardari, bilateral relations discussed


Islamabad: Mr. William Hague, British Foreign Secretary called on President Asif Ali Zardari and matters pertaining to Pak-UK bilateral relations, strategic dialogue between trade access to EU markets for Pakistan’s goods, collaboration between the two countries in the fields of trade and investment and education came under discussion during the meeting, says a press release received from London here today.

Charles Morgan, Mark Sedwill and British High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Adam Thomson accompanied British Foreign Minister in the meeting.

Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also present during the meeting while others who attended the meeting included Secretary General Mr. Salman Farouqi, High Commissioner Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Spokesperson Mr. Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials

Mr. Farhatullah Babar Spokesperson while briefing the media said that The President while speaking to the British foreign secretary said that Pak-UK multidimensional cooperation in various areas especially in socio-economic realms is vital to create opportunities, development and promote peace and security of the region.

The President said that Pakistan and the UK have longstanding relations which are based on shared interests and mutual respect.

He also emphasised the need for deepen consultation on global and regional issues of peace and stability, enhancing investment and trade, collaboration in the education sector, and cultural and Parliamentary links.

The President said that the presence of around one million Pakistani-born diaspora in UK serves as a bridge between the two countries.

President Asif Ali Zardari said that Government and the people of Pakistan appreciate Britain’s acknowledgment of Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts and its contributions through funding and capacity building.

Farhatullah Babar said that the President also highlighted that Pakistan has suffered tremendously in the global fight against militancy and finds its economy greatly ravaged by the war against militancy and terrorism. He reiterated that the war would continue against militants till the complete elimination of this cancer.

The President said that the government looked forward to UK and international community for support and assistance in facing numerous challenges in the fight against militancy. He also called for trade and market access for Pakistani products into European Markets to put our economy on the path of stability and prosperity and also to address issues of poverty and unemployment in the war affected areas. The President also appreciated UK’s strong support for greater market access for Pakistan in the EU.

Mr. William Hague , British Foreign Secretary said that his government would continue to extend all possible support in promoting educational facilities in Pakistan besides employment generation and poverty eradication in various areas of Pakistan. He said, the UK recognizes that no country has suffered more from the scourge of terrorism than Pakistan.

Mr. William Hague said Pakistan and UK have unbreakable partnership and shared determination to defeat terrorism and violent extremist. He said, “It is in the interest of both the countries to sustain the strategic relationship based on mutual respect and mutual trust and benefit.”

He also assured continued support of the British government to Pakistan’s efforts in fight against militancy and terrorism and to meet the critical economic challenges facing the country.

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