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United Nations, September 21: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar met EU High Representative on the sidelines of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. They exchanged views on flood situation in Sindh, market access, and development assistance as well as security situation in South Asia.

Foreign Minister Khar appreciated humanitarian and development assistance by the EU. She underlined that Pakistan was keen for market access as it would help in creating employment and dispensing with aid. She said that Pakistan wanted more focused and institutionalized support of the EU. She also proposed institutionalization of the summit process between Pakistan and the EU. It would help in enhancing the profile of interaction to the strategic level.

The EU High Representative expressed deep concern over widespread devastation by the recent floods in Sindh. She also expressed sympathies with people affected by floods. She said that provision of shelter and other basic needs should be the focus of immediate relief efforts. The EU had traditionally focused on education sector in Pakistan. It would continue to provide assistance in this sector particularly in rural areas.

Foreign Minister Khar also briefed the High Representative on Pakistan’s contribution in combating terrorism. She said that Pakistan has rendered unmatched sacrifices in this struggle. Pakistan lost 35000 men, women, and children including 5000 personnel of security forces.

The EU High Representative accepted the invitation of the Foreign Minister to visit Pakistan.

21 September 2011

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