The scheduled bilateral meeting of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (MOS), Syed Tariq Fatemi, with the British National Security Adviser (NSA), Sir Mark Lyall Grant, on the side-lines of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), turned into a call on the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, today.
The British Prime Minister expressed his profound grief and heartfelt condolences at the loss of precious lives in the recent terrorist attack in Lahore. Mr. Cameron expressed full support and solidarity with the people and the Government of Pakistan at this hour of grief, and acknowledged the sacrifices being made by people and the security forces of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.
Recalling the remarks he had made at a press conference in Islamabad during his visit to Pakistan in 2013, Prime Minister Cameron reiterated that the enemies of Pakistan would be viewed as enemies of Britain. He pledged Britain’s continued support in strengthening Pakistan’s economy, and enhancing bilateral cooperation in security related matters, including intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism. He, in particular, stressed the need for further enhancing cooperation in the energy and education sectors.
The MOS thanked the British Prime Minister for his expression of sympathy for the victims of the terrorist incident, and reiterated that terrorism posed a common threat to both Pakistan and Britain. He underlined Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s strong and unequivocal resolve to root out the menace of terrorism.
The British Prime Minister and the MOS exchanged views on a wide-range of bilateral issues pertaining to Pakistan-UK relations. There was an understanding between the two sides that the high-level interactions between the leaderships of the two countries had contributed significantly in strengthening bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including trade and economy; regional peace and security; as well as countering violent extremism and terrorism.
The MOS highlighted Prime Minister of Pakistan’s policy of peaceful neighborhood and non-interference in the region, and reiterated Pakistan’s desire to build a constructive and trust-based relationship with all its neighbours. He stressed that peace in Afghanistan was vital for the peace and stability of the entire region, and enumerated Pakistan’s contribution towards facilitating an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. He also outlined the various initiatives underway for greater regional integration and connectivity.
Prime Minister Cameron appreciated the leadership and vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the positive contribution being made by Pakistan in this regard.
Other issues of regional and international importance also came under discussion during the meeting that was held in a most cordial atmosphere.
31 March 2016