BERLIN: The foreign ministers of Germany and Pakistan signed an agreement Tuesday in which the two countries committed to a “strategic dialogue” on security issues, particularly regarding Afghanistan.
The agreement, signed by Germany’s Guido Westerwelle and Pakistan’s Hina Rabbani Khar, set out a “road map” of future meetings between the two countries so the two countries could benefit from greater cooperation in this domain.
“Pakistan has a decisive role to play in the stability of the whole region,” said Westerwelle. “We know that without Pakistan, there will no solution in Afghanistan and a stable Afghanistan is an objective that we both share,” he added.
“Even after 2014 we will not forget Afghanistan,” he said. That is the year that the international NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is due to hand over responsibility for security there to Afghan forces.
Khar also stressed that her country considered it in its national interest to have “a pacified, prosperous and stable Afghanistan”. She praised Germany’s leading role in the Afghan peace process, and insisted that Pakistan had no hidden political agenda regarding Afghanistan.
Berlin is the third biggest contributor of troops to the 130,000-strong ISAF Force after the United States and Britain. It has 4,900 soldiers in Afghanistan but 500 are set to be withdrawn by 2013 before a complete pull out of international troops the following year.