Diplomatic Sartaj Aziz Meets John Kerry

Islamabad: Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs met Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday on the sidelines the 20th Ministerial Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum ARF in Brunei Darussalam.

The main focus of discussion between the two sides was bilateral cooperation in the post 2014 period. The Adviser emphasized the need for holding the next round of Strategic Dialogue at Ministerial level between the two countries.

The Strategic Dialogue process provides an institutional mechanism to strengthen bilateral relations action in several areas through different working groups. In this regard Pakistan is looking forward to Secretary John Kerry’s visit to Pakistan, said a statement of the FO here.

The Adviser to Prime Minister also highlighted that the main focus of the foreign policy of the newly elected government will be economic revival and socio economic development. The two sides must make efforts to increase trade from the current level of US dollars 5 billion to dollar 10 billion in the next five years. The Adviser also stressed the need for greater market access to Pakistani exports to the United States.

Secretary John Kerry appreciated new government’s focus on the economy and said he accepted in that context the importance of greater market access for Pakistan’s exports to USA. He emphasized that improved law and order was also necessary for economic revival and larger foreign investment.

Mr. Sartaj Aziz expressed the hope that the two sides would be able to have a comprehensive discussion for cooperation in several areas during the upcoming visit of Secretary Kerry to Pakistan later in the month.

This was the first high level interaction between the two Foreign Ministers in which both sides agreed to work jointly for a fruitful and positive relationship.