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United Nations, September 19: The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Mrs. Hina Rabbani Khar, today held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, Italy and Latvia on the sidelines of the 66th Session of the General Assembly in New York. The Foreign Minister is heading Pakistan’s delegation to the ongoing General Assembly session.

In her meetings, the Foreign Minister discussed issues of mutual interest with her counterparts. She reiterated Pakistan’s desire to enhance economic cooperation with all three countries at the bilateral level as well as at the level of the European Union. She called on the Foreign Ministers of Italy and the UK to support Pakistan’s efforts for greater access to the EU markets.

She highlighted Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism and extremism. She mentioned that Pakistan had deployed a large number of troops in its border with Afghanistan. As a result of terrorist acts and our efforts to root out terrorism, Pakistan had lost 30,000 civilian men, women, and children and more than 5,000 armed forces personnel. Pakistan had paid heavy price for being a front line state against terrorism.

Pakistan was in need of solid and unwavering support of the international community in its fight against terrorism. She stressed that the international community needed to promote economic and social development as part of a holistic approach to curb and eliminate extremism and terrorism. The promotion of socio-economic development in places afflicted by extremism should be a high priority.

The Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, Italy and Latvia expressed their profound sympathy and solidarity with the people of Pakistan in the face of the recent devastating floods and expressed their desire to enhance their mutual trade and economic cooperation. They also commended Pakistan’s sacrifices in its fight against extremism and terrorism.

20 September 2011

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