Gates To Meet Musharraf Next Week

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News article: Gates To Meet Musharraf Next Week

Team Infidel February 11th, 2007

Pakistan Times
February 11, 2007 Focus on Afghanistan

By Pakistan Times Diplomatic Desk
ISLAMABAD--US Defence Secretary Robert Gates will visit Pakistan early next week for talks with President Pervez Musharraf on the threat from Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, a foreign news agency reported Saturday quoting official sources.
It will be Gates' first visit to the key US ally in the ‘war on terror’ since he came to office late last year. He is expected to fly to Afghanistan afterwards.
Gates' visit will be closely followed by separate visits to the region by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and two top diplomats from the United States and Britain, the sources said.
"These visits are part of a renewed focus on Afghanistan, how to deal with the threat posed by Taliban," a senior Pakistani official told the news agency on Saturday.
Afghanistan suffered its bloodiest year in 2006 with more than 4,000 people killed, mostly rebels, sometimes in pitched battles between Taliban-led insurgents and NATO-led troops in regions bordering Pakistan.
The foreign forces in Afghanistan are bracing for expected surge in Taliban violence in the coming months and NATO has said it wants to reinforce its 35,000 troop-deployment in the war-torn country.
Musharraf recently said security along the porous Pakistan-Afghanistan border was the joint responsibility of all the forces nearby, and Pakistan could not win the fight against militancy on its own.
Pakistan, EU Pledge
Meanwhile, Pakistan and the European Union on Friday concluded another round of talks to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and to continue their global campaign against terrorism.
The talks here between Gijs M. de Vries, EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator with an inter-Ministerial officials headed by Additional Secretary (UN&EC) Tariq Osman Hyder.
“The objective of these discussions is to deepen Pakistan-EU understanding and cooperation in the global campaign against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a statement by the Foreign Office said.
The EU and Pakistan have held five rounds of discussions in Islamabad and Brussels since November 2002.
The EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator expressed deep appreciation of Pakistan’s strong role in counter-terrorism and the bilateral cooperation extended to many EU countries in this field.
He said that Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism for a long time and noted that Pakistan was a moderate and modern Muslim country with a very important role to play in the world especially at the time when there were so many misperceptions.
De Vries stressed the need to counter radicalization wherever it may occur.
Pakistan emphasised the need to address the root causes of terrorism. It highlighted Pakistan’s policies to promote moderation and to counter extremism within Pakistan and the initiatives to promote the resolution of outstanding disputes in the Muslim World and for the promotion of peace and harmony in this context as well.
Both sides agreed to continue and strengthen the EU-Pakistan dialogue and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
It was stressed that in order to counter extremist tendencies, it was vital to improve socio-economic conditions, and in this respect the EU can and should play its role in increasing trade access for Pakistan, particularly since the EU was the major trade partner of Pakistan.
The Pakistan side emphasised that in the context of potential radicalization within the EU countries. It said the EU needed to look within itself to counter discrimination, Islamophobia and xenophobia, mounting examples of which had been documented in the recent comprehensive report of the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC).
The EU also needed to take action against terrorists and their supporters who were residing in EU countries, and were targeting Pakistan. De Vries assured that Pakistan’s concerns would be conveyed to the EU and its Member Countries.
De Vries during the visit from February 7-9 also called on the Chairman Senate, Foreign Secretary and met with DG (NCMC).
In-depth
Pakistan and the European Union on Friday concluded another round of talks to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and to continue their global campaign against terrorism.
The talks here between Gijs M. de Vries, EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator with an inter-Ministerial officials headed by Additional Secretary (UN&EC) Tariq Osman Hyder.
“The objective of these discussions is to deepen Pakistan-EU understanding and cooperation in the global campaign against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a statement by the Foreign Office said.
The EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator expressed deep appreciation of Pakistan’s strong role in counter-terrorism and the bilateral cooperation extended to many EU countries in this field.
He said that Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism for a long time and noted that Pakistan was a moderate and modern Muslim country with a very important role to play in the world especially at the time when there were so many misperceptions.
De Vries stressed the need to counter radicalization wherever it may occur.
Pakistan emphasised the need to address the root causes of terrorism. It highlighted Pakistan’s policies to promote moderation and to counter extremism within Pakistan and the initiatives to promote the resolution of outstanding disputes in the Muslim World and for the promotion of peace and harmony in this context as well.
Both sides agreed to continue and strengthen the EU-Pakistan dialogue and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
It was stressed that in order to counter extremist tendencies, it was vital to improve socio-economic conditions, and in this respect the EU can and should play its role in increasing trade access for Pakistan, particularly since the EU was the major trade partner of Pakistan.
The Pakistan side emphasised that in the context of potential radicalization within the EU countries. It said the EU needed to look within itself to counter discrimination, Islamophobia and xenophobia, mounting examples of which had been documented in the recent comprehensive report of the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC).
The EU also needed to take action against terrorists and their supporters who were residing in EU countries, and were targeting Pakistan. De Vries assured that Pakistan’s concerns would be conveyed to the EU and its Member Countries.
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