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UK stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan

Michael Fallon expresses solidarity with Pakistan during visit of Army Chief.

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

General Sharif was met by a ceremonial guard upon his arrival [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]
General Sharif was met by a ceremonial guard upon his arrival

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton met with Pakistan’s army chief in London today.

The leaders met with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to discuss regional security issues and steps to deepen the defence relationship between both countries.

General Sharif with Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton
General Sharif with Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

General Sharif’s visit was also an opportunity for the UK to express its support in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on an army school in Peshawar.

General Sharif’s visit is the first by Pakistan’s army chief since he assumed the role in November 2013.

Mr Fallon said:

I was delighted to welcome General Sharif to the Ministry of Defence today. The UK and Pakistan are close allies, who share a rich and historical relationship.

During our meeting, we had a wide-ranging discussion about how we can overcome the security issues facing both our countries and deepen our already strong defence relationship.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with General Sharif
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with General Sharif [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

General Sharif’s visit also offered me the opportunity to express once again our condolences following the appalling recent terrorist attack on the Army school in Peshawar.

The re-opening of the school this week underlines the admirable resolve of the Pakistani people.

We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

As an indication of our support, I am pleased to announce that I have agreed to provide Pakistan’s armed forces with a range of specialist bomb disposal equipment to help it counter the threat from terrorist groups and save Pakistani lives.

Published 14 January 2015