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Joint Statement with the President of Pakistan

The Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari have issued a joint statement following their meeting at Chequers on 6 August 2010.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan HE Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP met at Chequers on 6th August 2010.

The President of Pakistan complimented Prime Minister Cameron on his election as the Prime Minister of the UK.

Pakistan and the UK have longstanding relations which are based on shared interests and mutual respect. Both leaders affirmed their commitment to further strengthen strategic and co-operative ties between the two countries by intensifying the UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and confirming a yearly Summit. This Dialogue will deepen consultation on global and regional issues of peace and stability, will include people to people links, enhanced business investment and trade, collaboration in the education sector, and cultural and parliamentary links.

The two leaders welcomed the forthcoming launch of the British-Pakistan Foundation as an initiative to promote connections between our peoples.

Both leaders agreed that a strong, stable, secure and economically prosperous Pakistan is vital to global and regional peace and stability. In recognition of this, both leaders agreed to pursue closer development, economic and trade co-operation as part of the intensified Strategic Dialogue.

President Zardari underscored that Pakistan needs trade even more than aid. The Prime Minister said that the UK will continue to be Pakistan’s strongest ally in pursuing greater trade access to the EU for Pakistan.

Prime Minister Cameron expressed the UK’s support for Pakistan’s democratic government and expressed the UK’s solidarity and support for Pakistan coping with the damage caused by recent floods. He also expressed his condolences at the loss of precious lives and sympathy for the bereaved families. President Zardari expressed thanks for the UK’s pledge of £10 million of immediate relief for flood victims and for accelerating an already agreed £10 million bridge reconstruction programme.

Among the common challenges facing the UK and Pakistan is the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.  Both leaders agreed that terrorism and extremism are global issues and needed to be combated by intensifying cooperation at the global and regional levels.

Both leaders discussed the role being played by the democratic government in fighting against terrorism. The Prime Minister recognised the sacrifices made by Pakistan’s military, civil law enforcement agencies and people in fighting violent extremism and militancy and appreciated the efforts of the democratic government. Both leaders appreciated the close co-operation that already exists between respective police forces and other security agencies.

The two leaders agreed that such co-operation needs to and will intensify. In this regard the British Home Secretary would visit Pakistan in the Autumn. They asked the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism to make proposals for enhancing practical co-operation ahead of the visit.

Pakistan and the UK will intensify their strategic engagement and pursue comprehensive Ministerially-led co-operation under the framework of a summit level strategic dialogue process. This will be taken forward through annual contact between the British Prime Minister and the President/Prime Minister of Pakistan.

These Summit meetings will be reinforced through regular national security discussions.  The two leaders looked forward to the meeting between Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi and British Foreign Minister William Hague under the revitalised Dialogue in October.

The President invited the Prime Minister to make an early visit to Pakistan. The Prime Minister was pleased to accept.

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Published 6 August 2010