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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi today from Greece (on his way to Turkey) to get an update on the ongoing Swat operation and efforts being made towards providing relief assistance to dislocated persons.

The Foreign Minister briefed his British counterpart about the significant progress being made against militants and miscreants. He also conveyed to the British Foreign Secretary that the Government, with the help of the international community, was sparing no effort to look after the dislocated people. He, however, underlined the need for more and rapid international assistance to address the challenge of providing relief to over 2 million people. The British Foreign secretary assured the Foreign Minister of every possible assistance by UK in this humanitarian matter.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the upcoming first EU-Pakistan Summit in Brussels on 17 June. Foreign Secretary Miliband stated that Britain was keenly looking forward to the Summit and would do all it can to make the Summit a success. The Foreign Minister said that Britain should help Pakistan in getting market access into the European Union as trade was better than aid, for the former would help generate employment and sustainable economic opportunities. The Foreign Minister also emphasized that the European Union should invest in the development of social sector in Pakistan especially in the areas of health and education. Foreign Secretary Miliband said that Britain would extend its full support towards attaining these objectives.

The British Foreign Secretary also said that he was looking forward to visit Pakistan on mutually convenient dates.

26 May 2009

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