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Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Michael Steiner called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, today. The Foreign Secretary, Mr. Salman Bashir, the Ambassador of Germany in Islamabad, Dr. Michael Koch and Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Germany Mr. Abdul Basit also attended the meeting.

Expressing complete satisfaction over the state of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany, the Foreign Minister appreciated Germany’s humanitarian and development assistance to Pakistan. As Pakistan’s largest trading partner in Europe, the Foreign Minister thanked Germany for its active role in pursing the Pakistan-specific EU trade package, which was approved by the WTO Council for Trade in Goods in Geneva, yesterday. The Foreign Minister expressed the hope that the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Germany would continue to deepen in all areas to their mutual benefit and in the interest of promoting peace and prosperity in the region.

The Foreign Minister briefed the Special Representative about her one-day official visit to Afghanistan yesterday, reiterating Pakistan’s full commitment to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. She underlined that there was enormous repository of goodwill for Pakistan in Afghanistan and that the two countries should work together to attain peace and stability. Pakistan had no hidden agenda in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan could not be distracted from the pursuit of peace in Afghanistan by the ongoing malicious campaign against Pakistan which was, inter alia, aimed at creating chasms between the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir emphasized that Pakistan fully understood its responsibilities towards promoting peace and stability in the region. Pakistan had long been insisting that dialogue was key to achieving national reconciliation in Afghanistan. He appreciated the role being played by Germany in this regard. He hoped that these efforts would lead to positive results, enabling the people of Afghanistan to live in peace and harmony without fearing another descent into violence and chaos.

Mr. Steiner reaffirmed Germany’s policy to further strengthen its ties with Pakistan, with special focus on bilateral trade and investment. He also apprised the Foreign Minister of Germany’s efforts to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan, underscoring that patience and perseverance were required to achieve concrete results.

02 February 2012

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