Wednesday, July 17, 2013


UK to help Pakistan devise anti-terror strategy

|Blog ---
ISLAMABAD,- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday the United Kingdom will work in partnership with Pakistan to provide expertise and support in developing counter-terrorism strategy.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistani Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Hague acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistani people in the war against terrorism, saying they continue to reject terrorist violence and intimidation.

On Afghanistan, he said good relationship with Pakistan's neighbor is a key to security and UK and Pakistan agree on importance of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and support Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. He said relation with Pakistan is very important for progress and prosperity of both countries.

Earlier the two leaders held official talks and discussed wide- ranging issues, focusing on regional security and Afghanistan.

The two leaders said they agreed to enhance cooperation in a number of areas including trade and commerce and counter-terrorism.

Congratulating the Pakistani government and people on smooth transfer of power and successful conduct of elections, he hoped that democracy will further strengthen and prosper in Pakistan. He said Pakistani people gave a clear message of the continuity of democracy by taking full part in elections.

Aziz said the two sides exchanged views on entire spectrum of bilateral relations with focus on economic and trade. He said Pakistan-UK trade has reached about three billion U.S. dollars and they have a target to take it to five billion dollars.

He lauded UK's investment in Pakistan and said it is their endeavour to expand both investment and trade. He appreciated the support of UK in Pakistan's quest for more access to EU market. He said Pakistan wants inclusion in GSP Plus for the purpose and it welcomes UK's strong support in this regard.

Aziz said Pakistan and UK would hold second round of enhanced strategic dialogue later this year encompassing entire range of security, political and economic issues.

He said he would be visiting Kabul on Saturday for talks with Afghan leadership and hoped that his visit would pave the way for Afghan President Karzai's visit to Pakistan.

He said closure of Doha office by Taliban is a temporary phenomenon and hoped that it would reopen when difficulties in respect of flag and name of the office are overcome. He said Pakistan supports an Afghan-owned peace process and stability in Afghanistan is in our own interest.

He said facts about reports of Taliban moving to Syria are being looked into but firmly stated that the Government of Pakistan or its institutions have nothing to do even if such a movement has taken place.

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