Friday, 28 August 2009

PM welcomes Zardari to Number 10

The PM has welcomed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to Number 10 for talks on a range of issues including counter-terrorism, development and education.

Following today’s meeting a Downing Street spokesman said that security in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained a high priority for both governments. The Prime Minister also reiterated the UK’s pledge to invest £665 million over four years in programmes aimed at tackling the root causes of extremism.

Following the meeting a Downing Street spokesman said:

“The Prime Minister and the President agreed the need to tackle the underlying causes of extremism. The Prime Minister reiterated our support for Pakistani efforts and repeated the UK’s commitment, £665 million over four years. Our development programme in Pakistan is our second largest in the world; we aim to spend around half of this in the critical border areas.

“This requires a comprehensive approach including better governance, economic development such as a single financing mechanism, and when necessary appropriate military pressure.

“There was discussion and support expressed for our education programme. A programme announced back in April that focuses on the border area of Pakistan. In particular we announced that we will provide textbooks in the border areas for school children and that we would support 300,000 girls from poor families attending secondary school. More does need to be done and we have asked our international partners to step up and do more and follow up on the Tokyo Donors’ Conference which delivered $5 billion of pledges over the next two years.”

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