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Foreign Secretary Mr. Salman Bashir met with Danish State Secretary of Foreign Policy Michael Zilmar-Johns on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM) in Hanoi, Vietnam. The discussions focused on Pakistan-Denmark relations, regional issues including Afghanistan, and Pakistan-EU ties.

Stressing the importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Denmark, the Foreign Secretary emphasized the need for deeper bilateral collaboration in the trade, investment and energy fields. Noting the vast potential for cooperation in the renewable energy sector, he invited Danish companies to focus their investment efforts particularly in wind energy. The Foreign Secretary also noted the positive role of the Pakistani community in Denmark, serving as a bridge between the two countries. He thanked Denmark for its support to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) process. The State Secretary, for his part, stressed Denmark’s strong support for democracy as well as long-term economic development of Pakistan.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir briefed the State secretary on the national effort underway to address the issues of militancy as well as measures by the government to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to the dislocated families. In the regional context, the Foreign Secretary highlighted Pakistan‘s efforts bilaterally, and through various regional and multilateral processes, to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and help intensify the development efforts. He expressed the view that the corporate sector could support the efforts of the governments to advance the development agenda. The State Secretary appreciated Pakistan’s commitment to work with the international partners in supporting Afghanistan’s stabilization. He also agreed with the imperative of advancing the development agenda to make the gains sustainable.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bahsir highlighted the important role of Denmark in forging an enhanced relationship between Pakistan and the European Union (EU). In this context, he noted that the Pakistan-EU Summit in Brussels next month was of crucial importance.

The State Secretary expressed Denmark’s commitment to help forge a stronger partnership between Pakistan and the EU — including through intensified political dialogue, increased European investments in Pakistan, and enhanced access for Pakistani products in the European market. The two sides agreed to work closely to ensure a substantive outcome of the Brussels Summit. It was also agreed to exchange high-level visits more frequently.

28 May 2009

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