ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 2009 (APP): Pakistan and Germany on Monday expressed their resolve to cement bilateral relations in political, economic, commercial, cultural and defence fields. The German State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Reinhard Silberberg visited Islamabad on Monday to hold bilateral consultations with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. He also called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
In the extensive bilateral consultations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of relations and ways and means to strengthen these further.
It was also agreed to hold regular political and strategic consultations at the level of Foreign Secretary.
The Pakistan side made a case for greater market access for Pakistani products in the EU in order to sustain Pakistan?s growth and tackle extremism.The State Secretary conveyed German support.
Among the other issues discussed included the Friends of Democratic Pakistan, the fight against extremism and terrorism, regional development and peace and security.
The State Secretary appreciated Pakistan government?s multi?pronged strategy in the fight against terrorism and extremism and its efforts to bring about peace and security in Afghanistan.
He also appreciated Pakistan?s positive approach and offer of cooperation to India in the aftermath of the Mumbai incident and expressed hope that the two countries would be able to resolve their differences in an atmosphere of amity and trust.
During the call on the Foreign Minister, Silberberg expressed the German leadership?s desire to deepen its longstanding relations with Pakistan, which it views as an important regional country.
The Foreign Minister conveyed greetings to the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and expressed keen resolve of the democratic government to establish a broadbased and sustainable relationship with Germany.
The visit is taking place at a time when relations between the two countries have strengthened recently.
The State Secretary?s visit follows that of the German Foreign Minister, which took place in October 2008. During the German Foreign Minister?s visit, a roadmap to comprehensively upgrade bilateral relations between the two countries was discussed.
Germany is presently the largest trading partner of Pakistan in the EU with US $ 2.388 billion trade in 2008. Germany is actively involved in Pakistan?s socio?economic development and is an active member of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Forum.