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A three-member German parliamentary delegation of the ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU), comprising Mr. Roderich KIESEWETTER, Mr. Michael GAHLER, and Mr. Ernst-Reinhard BECK called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, today. They discussed bilateral relations and also exchanged views on important regional issues of mutual interest.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Germany, which was the largest country in Europe. She said that parliamentary contacts should be given due priority in our bilateral issues, as parliamentarians represented the will of the people and could help significantly in bringing the two countries further closer.

The Foreign Minister appreciated Germany’s support for greater access for Pakistan to EU markets, including finalization of Pakistan-specific EU trade package and granting the GSP + status to Pakistan. The Foreign Minister emphasized that it was only through more trade and investment, rather than aid, could Pakistan address its socio-economic challenges. She expressed the hope that German parliamentarians would continue playing their positive and constructive role in this regard.

Talking about Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan fully supported the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process. She underlined that Pakistan had suffered enormously because of terrorism and the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan. Therefore, a stable and peaceful Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s own interest. She also explained Pakistan’s rationale for not attending the Bonn Conference following the US/NATO air strikes at Salala, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The German delegation appreciated Pakistan’s contributions against terrorism. They assured the Foreign Minister of their full support in further strengthening Pakistan-EU relations in all areas to the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Ambassador of Germany in Islamabad, Dr. Michael Koch, and Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Germany, Mr. Abdul Basit, also attended the meeting.

31 Jan 2012

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