NEW YORK: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif met with world leaders on the sideline of 70th United Nations General Assembly session in New York. During the meeting, the world leaders have acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices as well as gains in the war against terrorism. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Swedish Prime Minister Stefen lofven ,German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and co-founder Microsoft Bill Gates separately.
During his meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefen lofven, Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan is keen to expand economic cooperation with Sweden and sought its cooperation in meeting country’s chronic energy shortage. The Prime Minister told his Swedish counterpart about the gains Pakistan has made in combating terrorism.
The Prime Minister thanked Mr. Lofven for Sweden’s support to Pakistan in securing GSP Plus status. Current bilateral trade volume between Pakistan andSweden is US$ 439 million, which has the potential to increase in the coming years. The Prime Minister invited Swedish companies to benefit from the attractive investment opportunities on offer in Pakistan. Both leaders exchanged views on a number of issues including renewable energy, trade, health, education and the role of Pakistani diaspora in Sweden. Multilateral cooperation at the United Nations, including mutual support for candidatures to key international bodies was also discussed.
On regional security, the Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He also stressed that Pakistan sought improved ties with India but without any preconditions. The Swedish Prime Minister said the two countries had a very good relationship, which needed to be translated into a more meaningful cooperation. In this regard he stressed for further strengthening their economic ties. The Swedish Prime Minister lauded Pakistan’s successful military campaign against terrorists within the country. He also expressed deep appreciation and significant role of Pakistan in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. Talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged German investors to invest in the development of Thar coal, particularly through use of German technology and technical expertise. The Prime Minister thanked Ms. Merkel for Germany’s support to Pakistan in a number of spheres, particularly in securing GSP Plus trade concessions. Germany and Pakistan enjoy a bilateral trade volume of US$ 2.5 billion, which has tremendous potential for growth in coming years. He also invited German investment in Pakistan, particularly through use of German technology and technical expertise in developing Thar coal, one of the largest coal reserves in the world.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including trade, energy, health, education, agriculture, automobile industry etc. On the regional situation, the Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as attempts to improve ties withIndia.
Ms. Merkel appreciated the significant progress made by Pakistan in its efforts to counter terrorism. She also acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. The Prime Minister congratulated Sirisena on the success of his party in recent elections held in Sri Lanka on August 17, 2015. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that relations between the two countries would be further strengthened under the new government. The two leaders discussed matters of bilateral importance including defence cooperation, trade enhancement, economic cooperation, people to people exchanges, culture and sports etc. Cooperation between both countries at multilateral fora such as the United Nations and SAARC also came under discussion.
The Prime Minister also shared views with the Sri Lankan President on the regional situation, particularly with respect to India and Afghanistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also met co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates and discussed the eradication of polio from Pakistan. He said on this occasion that the current government has achieved many milestones in the campaign against polio. Bill Gates appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in eradication of polio during his meeting with Pakistani PM. Nawaz said that 306 cases of polio had been registered last year but the number has dropped to 36 this year and thus the percentage improved by 82% in one year. NNI