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Mr. Guido Westerwelle, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany paid a visit to Pakistan on 8-9 January 2011. Mr. Westerwelle held a meeting with Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi which was followed by a joint press stakeout at the Foreign Office on 8 January. The Foreign Minister also hosted a dinner for Mr. Westerwelle. Mr. Westerwelle also called on the Prime Minister on 9 January.

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister expressed appreciation for the assistance extended by German government and people for the victims of floods.

Mr. Westerwelle expressed friendship and solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan. He said that Germany viewed its relationship with Pakistan on a sustained and long term basis. In pursuance of the understanding reached during the visit of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to Germany in 2009, both sides agreed to initiate a strategic dialogue to intensify bilateral relations.

Referring to the reported remarks of Chancellor Angela Merkel about Pakistan, Foreign Minister Westerwelle clarified that the remarks were misinterpreted and Germany had deep appreciation for Pakistan’s role and sacrifices in the war against terror. He also appreciated Pakistan’s contribution and cooperation in promoting stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Germany agreed to enhance cooperation in economic, trade and investment fields. A large number of Pakistani companies are participating in exhibitions in Germany. Foreign Minister Westerwelle expressed support for greater access for Pakistani products in the EU markets including through GSP+.

As regards development assistance, Foreign Minister Westerwelle conveyed that Germany would continue to contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of Pakistan.

The two sides also agreed to increasing cooperation in higher education and science and technology.

The situation in Afghanistan and issues of regional security and stability in South-Asia also came under discussion.

The visit provided a useful opportunity to deepen friendship and cooperation and enhance mutual understanding of the issues of common interest.

10 January 2011

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