Germany backs free trade between Pak, EU, Angela Merkel tells Nawaz

nawazBERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that her country will back free trade between Pakistan and the members of European Union.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she said: “We will further strengthen economic cooperation with Pakistan; we want to assist Islamabad in various sectors”

Merkel said that Mr Sharif pressed for improved economic relations between the two countries during his tour. She said that Malala Yousafzai was a brave girl who was identity of Pakistan. She also congratulated Pakistan for winning Nobel Peace Price.

She also expressed the hope that Pakistan and India would improve their bilateral relations. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Germany had significance in Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Echoing Nawaz’s statement for German support to combat terrorism, Merkel said Germany is willing to help Pakistan over a range of projects.

“A stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan,” the German chancellor also affirmed.

Shifting focus to economic and trade cooperation, PM Nawaz said Germany is fourth biggest trade partner of Pakistan the two countries enjoy cordial relations.

Nawaz claimed that the two countries agreed in principle over numerous projects and deals to improve the country’s economy.

“Issue of energy crisis will be resolved soon,” he assured.

Responding to a question regarding the protection of minority rights and the recent lynching of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan over alleged blasphemy, the premier said, “It is shameful and we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.”

“My government has ordered a judicial inquiry with instructions that those responsible be given exemplary punishment,” he added.

The premier also spoke about Pakistan’s second Nobel prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, saying the teenager has not been regarded as a hero in Pakistan but she is very popular and has rendered great service in the field of education.

Commenting on  talks with the premier, the German chancellor said, “We had useful talks with Nawaz Sharif and will endeavor to further strengthen Pakistan German relations.”

The premier extended an invitation to Merkel to visit Pakistan.

Earlier on his arrival at the Chancellor’s Office, the prime minister was warmly greeted by a smartly turned out contingent of German Armed Forces who presented a guard of honour to him.

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