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Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and Rt Hon Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), met on 20 April 2016 to hold the third annual Ministerial Review of the Pak-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD). The dialogue underpins the enduring partnership between the two countries.

They reviewed the progress on bilateral commitments in the areas of trade, development, culture and security. The two sides also discussed future cooperation to develop a deeper and stronger relationship, and promoting mutual interests. They agreed on new roadmaps for trade and investment, culture and education, and security cooperation. It was further agreed that the progress under the roadmaps would be reviewed annually by the Ministers, with the next review scheduled in 2017.

Both sides also discussed priority areas of the bilateral relationship including; meeting and exceeding the bilateral trade target of pound 3 billion; establishment of joint Pakistan-UK Business Council; expansion of development cooperation in health and education; facilitation of visas from Pakistani businessmen and students; enhanced cultural cooperation by establishing a new UK-Pakistan cultural forum; and continued security cooperation to tackle the common threat of terrorism.

A joint statement was also issued by the two sides at the end of the review, reaffirming the commitment to a strong partnership to increase prosperity, development and security in both countries.

The Enhanced Strategic Dialogue was signed in 2011, and sets out the UK and Pakistan’s strategic partnership in the areas of trade and investment, development, culture and education, and security.

21 April 2016

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