The Roadmap for the Pakistan-Germany Strategic Dialogue will launch soon and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is meeting her German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, tomorrow for finalizing the Roadmap for the Pakistan-Germany Strategic Dialogue. This roadmap is the fruition of a vision for a more systematic and holistic deeper bilateral ties between the two countries.
According to diplomatic sources, she while addressing the Council on Foreign Relations in Berlinwas of the view that the situation in Afghanistan had a direct bearing on the entire spectrum of public life in Pakistan.
Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan is committed to support Afghanistan’s elected government and to pursue dialogue and reconciliation. She said Iran is an important country and has an important role to play in the region, and Pakistan was of the view that issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program should be resolved peacefully. Pakistan cannot afford another conflict in its neighborhood.
She warned that there was too much at stake, and any intervention will have far-reaching implications in the region, as Afghanistan is already far away from normalization. It may be mentioned that the Pakistan Foreign Minister had a meeting with the German Minister for Defense, Thomas de Maizière, and the two ministers discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of defense.
According to the Foreign Office, both ministers expressed the confidence that the MOU on a bilateral defense cooperation, signed earlier this year, would help promote bilateral cooperation in defense. The two ministers also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.
UPDATE (September 5, 2012):
Pakistan and Germany have inked a roadmap for Strategic Dialogue to foster closer relations, enhancement of bilateral trade and investment, parliamentary exchanges, and people to people contact.
Foreign Minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and her German counterpart, Dr. Guido Wester Welle, signed the document in Berlin covering various fields, including political consultations.
The Strategic Dialogue provides for annual Ministerial Consultations at the Foreign Secretary level alternately in Islamabad and Berlin to review progress and set markers for further strengthening relations. The first round of consultations is expected to be held early next year.
The roadmap identifies areas of cooperation within the framework of Strategic Dialogue. It provides for regular political consultations on bilateral, regional, and international issues, as well as international stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.
It would also focus on regional integration, a working-level dialogue on respective counter-terrorism efforts, and possibilities for enhanced cooperation in this area.
It also covers human rights issues, nuclear non-proliferation, and disarmament, including negotiations in the framework of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
The dialogue will focus on enhancement of trade, economic and investment relations, and inter-parliamentary and civil society dialogue. It will also cover cooperation in higher education, science, and cultural exchanges; bilateral development cooperation in the jointly-agreed priority sectors of energy, health, education, and governance. Exploring possibilities for further cooperation in the areas of renewable energy, the environment, and vocational training also come in the ambit of the Strategic Dialogue.
Both the Foreign Ministers expressed their optimism that the roadmap would usher in a new era of mutually beneficial cooperation and friendship between the two countries.