By Marcus Leach

David Cameron and President Zadari of Pakistan have pledged to strengthen ties between Britain and Pakistan to boost trade and combat terrorism.

Meeting in Downing Street, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to boost trade to £2.5 billion by 2015.

The leaders also agreed to intensify cooperation to combat terrorism. The Prime Minister appreciated Pakistan’s full commitment to fighting terrorism and stressed that there was now an opportunity to move decisively against Al Qaeda.

Mr Cameron said:

“No country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan. Working together to defeat terrorism in all its forms is very much top of our agenda.”
The PM and President also discussed Afghanistan. They agreed that a stable Afghanistan was in the interests of countries in the region and the rest of the world.

Finally, President Zadari thanked the Government and the British people for their generous assistance to last year’s flood victims and for the Government’s efforts to secure greater access for Pakistan to EU markets as a way to rebuild their businesses following the devastating floods.

Following the meeting a Downing Street Spokesperson said:

“The two leaders agreed that a stable Afghanistan is in the interests of countries in the region and the rest of the world. They both support the Afghan-led process towards reconciliation and peace and the Prime Minister encouraged Pakistan to play a constructive role in supporting an Afghan political process within the framework of the Afghan constitution that separates the Afghan Taliban from Al Qaeda and persuades them to move away from violence.

“President Zardari thanked Prime Minister Cameron for his outright and consistent support to Pakistan, acknowledging the valuable contribution the UK has made to further develop the education and health sectors in Pakistan. Mr Cameron welcomed the Government of Pakistan’s determination to assert the rule of law and reiterated the UK’s full support for Pakistan’s democratic government.”

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