Pakistan, Italy to reinforce anti-terror cooperation

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Islamabad, Oct 20 (UNI) Pakistan and Italy today vowed to further strengthen cooperation in the ongoing fight against terrorism as the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Mr Frattini also appreciated Pakistan's role in the war against terror and urged the world community to fully support it in its efforts.

''Italy is seeking to convene a conference of the regional countries and the stakeholders to hammer out a joint strategy to curb terrorism,'' he told a joint press conference with Mr Qureshi.

The Italian Minister also assured his country's help for Pakistan in getting access to the European Union markets.

Both the sides spoke of the need to expand their trade, economic and cultural ties. Mr Qureshi said the two sides had detailed talks on bilateral affairs and the situation in the region.

Earlier, Mr Frattini also called on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who underscored the importance Pakistan attaches to its political, economic and cultural ties with Italy.

He said both the countries share common perceptions on most of the regional and global issues, particularly on terrorism and UN reforms.

Expressing Pakistan's desire for reinvigorated broad-based and long term relationship with Italy, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that Italy would extend its fullest support to Pakistan for greater market access for its products to the European Union markets.

He underlined the need for Italian corporate sectors' participation in development of project consortiums in various fields including infrastructure, energy, agriculture and mining.

Mr Frattini stated that his visit was meant to reaffirm his government's desire for further strengthening the bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in multifaceted fields.

He said that Italy in its capacity of leader of G-8 in 2009 would invite the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, India, Saudi Arabia and UAE to G-8 Foreign Ministers meeting to find the ways and means for stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.

He assured the Prime Minister of complete Italian support to Pakistan in the war against terror and of economic cooperation in trade and investment fields.

UNI XC RJ KN1810

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