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Pakistanand Italy have agreed to reinforce bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and deepen mutual collaboration on regional and international issues of common interest. This was decided during the meeting between Foreign Secretary Mr. Salman Bashir and Italian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Stefania Craxi on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The Foreign Secretary, while underlining the longstanding cooperative relationship between Pakistan and Italy, stressed Pakistan’s desire to deepen and broaden bilateral ties in the trade, investment and economic fields. He underlined the commitment of the democratic leadership and the state institutions to defeat militancy and promote peace and stability n the region. Simultaneously, he stressed, the national effort was aimed at strengthening stability and promoting economic development.

On Pakistan-EU ties, the Foreign Secretary highlighted the importance of the Summit-level engagement in Brussels and noted Pakistan’s desire for forging closer political and trade partnership with EU. In this context, he emphasized, the Brussels Summit could play a pivotal role.

The Italian Secretary of State reciprocated the desire for strengthening the Italy-Pakistan partnership and deepening bilateral cooperation. She stressed that Italy “would always support” Pakistan’s stability and economic development.

The Secretary of State appreciated Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and its positive engagement with Afghanistan, stressing that the challenges confronted by the region required a regional approach.

The Foreign Secretary welcomed Italy’s initiative of convening a Conference on Afghanistan under the Italian Presidency of the G-8. The two sides agreed to coordinate closely with regard to the conference outcome.

The two sides also exchanged views on UN reforms and agreed to further intensify mutual coordination on issues of common interest.

28 May 2009

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