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British Foreign Secretary, William Hague is on a two-day official visit to Islamabad from 12-13 June 2012.

This is the first high-level meeting between the two sides since Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to the UK in May, 2012 to hold the First summit Review Meeting on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) between Pakistan and the UK.

Secretary Hague called on the President, the Prime Minister and held bilateral consultations with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. He also met Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez A. Sheikh.

The President noted with satisfaction the growing understanding between the two countries and expressed appreciation for UK’s advocacy of Pakistan in international forums. The Prime Minister recalled his successful visit to the UK and held discussions with Secretary Hague on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

The two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction at the current status of bilateral relations, and underlined the importance of exploring ways and means to further enhance the existing multifaceted partnership. They discussed implementation of road map on “Trade and Investment” which envisages increasing bilateral trade to £2.5 billion by the year 2015. Secretary Hague reaffirmed UK support for Pakistan’s request for inclusion in GSP Plus, and for the passage of the EU Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs). Foreign Minister Khar expressed appreciation for UK development assistance of £1.4 billion over four years (2011-2015) in various sectors especially primary education. The Foreign Ministers also recognized the importance of the one million-strong Pakistan community who had contributed to the UK economy, politics and society.

They also exchanged views on regional and international issues, including Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Khar underlined the importance of the sustained commitment of the international community during the transition phase in Afghanistan. The two sides agreed to continue to work closely in this regard.

Foreign Minister Khar extended an invitation to Secretary Hague to visit Islamabad for the Second Review of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue.

12 June 2012

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