| GEO Pakistan|
| UK views Pak as long-term strategic partner: Hague|
| Updated at: 0405 PST, Thursday, June 24, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: The new British government on Wednesday said it views Pakistan as a long term strategic partner and desires “deeper” and “stronger” bilateral ties in all areas.
The British Foreign Secretary who is here on a three-day official visit also vowed to deepen the “strategic dialogue” with Pakistan, besides increasing its development assistance to 665 million pounds Sterling over a period of four years.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague at a joint press stake following their meeting said they reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Foreign Minister Qureshi described the talks as good and said both the sides decided to carry forward the process and expand the areas of cooperation.
The British foreign secretary said his new government was committed to “a long term productive friendship with Pakistan” and would put in a new momentum.
He also spoke high of the around one million Pakistani-born diaspora in the UK and said the two sides discussed the issue of visas and other matters.
He paid rich tributes to the “sacrifices” and the resilience shown by the Pakistani people in fighting extremism and terrorism.
“I salute the efforts of Pakistan in fighting extremism and terrorism.” He acknowledged the enormous sacrifices made by Pakistan and the thousands of casualties at the hands of extremists and violent incidents.